A Pre-Application Public Consultation meeting was held on the 11th December at Milton Abbot Village Hall to discuss this proposed development. The meeting was well attended with over 75 people present to listen to and question the applicants Mr and Mrs Alford and their consultants Planex. The meeting was chaired by Mr Howard Ashbridge acting clerk to Milton Abbot Group Parish Council.
Mr and Mrs Alford said that the great majority of the output from the Turbine would be going into the National Grid and this was necessary to provide an extra income stream for the farm. The Planex consultant, Ms Tysler, said that the output of this Turbine was required to contribute to the UK’s legal obligations on renewable energy.
It was pointed out from the floor that this Turbine was not required to meet our legal obligations since the minister Mr Davey and Lord Debin the Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change have said that we already have enough on-shore Turbines to meet our 2020 legal obligations. The impact of putting this Turbine in such a beautiful and sensitive area was emphasised, the site is just 3km from the Dartmoor National Park boundary and is also located close to the Tamar Valley AONB. The Turbine it was claimed will obstruct views both to and from the iconic Brent Tor Church. It will also overlook and be seen from many parts of the Lyd Valley, Chillaton and Lamerton.
Grave concerns were expressed about the impact on water courses since these springs provide many with their only water supply. It was also pointed out that rare Lesser Horseshoe Bats and also Barn Owls inhabit the area and the impact on these needs to be fully studied before any full application is submitted.
Ms Tysler said that the life of the Turbine was 25 years and that the land would be fully restored to its original state after the Turbine was no longer used. The applicants confirmed they would be committed to doing this, including removing the substantial concrete foundations, and that money would be set aside for this purpose.
It was felt by many at the meeting that the applicants were dismissive about the noise impact on people living close to the Turbine. The nearest residential property is just 230m away but it was also pointed out that a number of studies have shown Low Frequency Noise can cause health issues for those living up to 1km away. The government has commissioned a new study at the Institute of Acoustics to look at revising the current noise recommendations.
There was a lot of anger expressed at the meeting about the impact on property values for those in the vicinity of the Turbine as well as the impact on resident’s quality of life. It was also felt that such a development would impact onto the tourist income for those running B&B’s and hotels in the area. Many would suffer to provide a benefit for one family.
At the end of the meeting a vote was taken on the desirability of the Turbine, there were no votes in favour!