Call to Devon district to not allow single turbines

Wind turbines
Image caption The council said each application was taken on on its own merits

A Devon district council has denied its planning policy makes it easier to build single wind turbines.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has said planning rules in Torridge were only stringent for applications of two turbines or more.

Council leader Barry Parsons said single turbines up to 50ft (15m) were not covered by the local energy policy.

However, he added a single turbine over 82ft (25m), or any project featuring two or more turbines were covered.

Green targets

Torridge Council said there had been 42 applications for single turbines in 10 years and another nine were pending.

The CPRE's Penny Mills, who lives in Torridge, said the organisation was concerned about how easy it believed it was to make applications for single turbines.

She said: "The local authority's wind energy policy has a loophole because it doesn't cover single turbines, it only refers to two turbines or more.

"We've asked Torridge to look at that."

Mr Parsons denied there were loopholes at the Conservative-controlled authority and added that applications involving any turbines above 82ft (25m) would be dealt with by a council committee.

Applicants for turbines said they wanted to save money on power and do their bit for the environment.

Mark Elliott, who farms near Holsworthy, said: "At the moment, we're paying a lot for our electricity.

"Fuel and electricity prices are just going to keep rising, and our bill last year was in the region of £25,000."

"If we can reduce that with a wind turbine, then that's what we're up for."

The Department for Communities and Local Government also said there were no loopholes and applications for turbines, even under 50ft (15m,) were subject to the planning process.

An environmental impact assessment may not need to be carried out for smaller turbines, a spokesman added.

"Under the national guidelines, local authorities are entitled to ask for all the information they deem necessary for applications to be considered, just like any other development."

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