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Council expenditure on plans for new turbines is an ill wind that blows no good for Cornwall

By West Briton  |  Posted: March 13, 2014

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IN FEBRUARY 2012, Cornwall Council approved £16 million of expenditure on turbines on seven of its farms.

Officers have advised me that six planning applications are due in June, and one by the end of 2014.

Cornwall Council's website gives five screening opinions: St Ewe, 900kW; London Apprentice, 800kW; Grampound 2MW, Tregony 2MW, Carland Cross two times 2MW. For each, the named applicant is the agent. Cornwall Council's role is only disclosed in the attached agent's letter.

The Freedom Of Information Act was suggested for further information. Points arising are:

1, With services under severe strain, is Cornwall Council keeping this major expenditure quiet?

2, Four north Roseland turbines grouped some 3,000m apart threaten instant unacceptable cumulative impact. Homes or tourist centres in a six-mile square are guaranteed a turbine within 1,500m. Is Cornwall Council's £10,000 per annum inducement to Grampound available to all?

3, The 2MW pair, 1,500m west of Carland Cross, beside the A30, will exacerbate the existing windfarm's impact. Reportedly some of this group are regularly switched off due to grid transmission limitations. Additions, if similarly connected, will increase the downtime we all pay for.

4, If this is all justified by Cornwall Council's fervently pursued "green" agenda then (a) why increase approved turbine capacity which, by February 2013, exceeded national and county targets (head of planning's letter to MP Stephen Gilbert); (b) how can these turbines affect climate when the UK's total onshore wind programme may not reach one two-thousandth of world energy and the industry, directly or through major grid inefficiencies, causes as much fossil fuel use and carbon emissions as it allegedly saves?

5, If justified by high 20-year returns, these come mainly from subsidies paid through electricity bills by the people and businesses of Cornwall and all the UK, including those in fuel poverty?

6, Any chance of planning refusals?

Think again.

Peter Higham

Member of Cornwall Protect

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  • letigre  |  March 13 2014, 12:29PM

    2 turbines at Carland Cross are always off, they have to be constrained. Maybe this is why there is a rush to build so many new houses towards Newquay - anything to increase the power demand on that grid line and justify their existence? SSE are surely not complaining with the amount paid to constrained turbines. I don't mind paying for green power but paying for non-power really smarts and now for more non-power next to non-power instead of front line services - good grief.

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