Protect Devon is an alliance supporting the protection of rural Devon from the introduction of inappropriately sited energy schemes. These include wind turbines, solar power stations, anaerobic digesters and banks of diesel generators. If you would like to help protect Devon and join our alliance, please contact us.
Positive developments since the general election of 2015 have included reductions in subsidies through the Renewable Obligation and the Feed-in Tariff schemes.
With regard to wind power, we welcome the Government statement that we need no more onshore wind, as targets have been met. We also welcome the Written Ministerial Statement of 18th June 2015 and the subsequent changes made to the Planning Practice Guidance which to a great extent have ended the mass of planning applications from the so-called renewables industry and resulted in nearly all applications to be refused. Most of those appealed have now been dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate. This corresponds with current government policy to put an end to onshore wind farms, which includes individual wind turbines.
Update 26th November 2016
Dr Phillip Bratby has now concluded his report The Disastrous Impact of Renewable Energy in Devon. The review covers the development of renewable energy in Devon over the last 13 years. It is based upon the information given in the annual reports
produced by RegenSW, the leading promoter of renewable energy in the South West.
The review also looks at renewable energy in Cornwall and the South West, but
providing less detail. Over 80% of renewable energy capacity is in the form of
electricity generation, so the review has predominantly focussed on renewable
electricity. To download the full report, please click here.
Update 21st May 2016
Following meetings of both Torridge and North Devon's Full Councils, the Local Plan is now moving forward for inspection with the renewable energy part excluding wind energy developments as per 6.19A in its shortened form. This reflects government policy as outlined in the 18th June 2015 Written Ministerial Statement and means that the whole of northern Devon is now closed to onshore wind energy devolopment.
Update 18 April 2016
At today's meeting of Torridge District Council's Community & Resources Committee, the overwhelming response opposing the proposals in the second consultation to reject the proposed policy DM11B was heeded with the adoption of the alternative 6.19A "In accordance with Government Guidance, proposals for wind energy development will only be permitted where they are in an area identified as suitable for wind energy development which is allocated in a Neighbourhood Plan or a Development Plan Document. The District Councils will regularly review the need to amend this Local Plan or produce a subsequent Development Plan Document to address the requirement for such development". There was considerable community support for an amendment proposed by Cllr Brenton to end this Minor Modification to the Local Plan at the words "Neighbourhood Plan." This was however defeated on a vote, 3 in favour, 4 against and 2 abstentions. The complete Minor Modification was passed on a vote of 6 for, 2 against and one abstention.
This now goes forward to North Devon Council Executive Committee on 3rd May for their deliberations.
Update 2 February 2016
A recent threat has been a consultation initiated by North Devon and Torridge District Councils to identify "areas suitable for wind energy development" with four options under consideration. None of these options allow for the Local Plans to be based on the status quo which is that there are no areas designated as suitable for wind energy development. Despite the fact that the vast majority of those who replied to the consultation don't want any areas adopted as suitable for wind energy development, both councils have adopted consultation's Option 1. This covers the whole of the two districts, including the protected Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Exmoor National Park and, believe it or not, Lundy.
Protect Devon is concerned that if North Devon and Torridge's Local Plan includes a map showing the whole area to be suitable for wind energy development, then not only could there be a rash of applications, but the area could be very vulnerable to future changes of policy with regard to wind power. It would also set a precedent which other parts of Devon could follow.
Needless to say, Protect Devon are opposed to these proposal and are actively lobbying for the adoption of the missing "Option 5", that is for no areas of Torridge and North Devon to be designated as suitable for wind energy development – simply because they are not suitable.
The consultation is about to enter its second stage and Protect Devon, and its supporters, will campaign relentlessly to change the planners' desire to wreck northern Devon with industrialisation and for the Local Plan to include policy that NO areas are suitable for wind energy development.
MAPS (external and open in new windows/tabs)
CPRE Devon Devon | Energy | Protecting Devon & Planning Applications
South Hams Renewable Energy Apps
Torridge Wind Turbine Map
All this is at the personal cost of all energy users, many of whom are being dragged into fuel poverty.
The True Cost of our Wind
"Not only are they a blight on the landscape, they are the most expensive, inefficient and unreliable form of energy.
Many people are struggling to pay their energy bills and the dash for wind energy unnecessarily adds a considerable amount on to everyone’s bills in order to line the pockets of rich landowners.
It is Robin Hood in reverse — taking money from the poorest in order to line the pockets of the richest."
Philip Davies MP, Sunday Post, 04/05/2014
Who needs wind?
"TURBINE NUMBER 4 FOR OTTER POWER 13 MARCH 2014
It took just 4 hours to install turbine number 4 at Wortham Farm for Otter Power.
Beautiful weather and no wind facilitated the installation."