Plan says Torridge is a good wind energy area
THE leader of Torridge District Council is angry after finding a Devon County Council document designating Torridge as a prime site for wind turbines to be erected.
Councillor Barry Parsons, who is also a Devon county councillor, has been trying to find out why the district has been increasingly bombarded with wind turbine applications in recent years.
He said: "I have been aware for some time that Torridge has been identified as a key area for renewable energy, namely wind turbines.
"I have been asking various people if they know why this is and then the answer arrived when the Devon Structure Plan was brought to my attention."
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The plan was created by Devon County Council in 2001 and adopted in 2004, and it will last until 2016.
Its "assessments of wind based energy potential diagram" shows where areas of search for wind-based energy production can take place.
This area covers Torridge compared to South Devon where there is no designation.
Mr Parsons added: "It explains a lot.
"Wind turbine developers say Torridge is a designated area but never say why, now we know why.
"I want to get to the bottom of this, why has Torridge been singled out?
"There are some areas of North Devon and small bit of Mid Devon but not the whole district like Torridge."
The county council said the structure plan related to "strategic scale" wind farm development, rather than individual wind turbines, which district councils would need to assess against local policy objectives.
It said: "Torridge features in the Devon Structure Plan (within the context of wind based production) because most importantly it, and some parts of West and North Devon, were identified in a number of technical studies as having the greatest potential in terms of viable wind resource.
"These areas are best placed to deliver the strategic scale of renewable energy generation that is required for Devon to meet its renewable energy generation targets.
"The plan identifies areas of greatest potential, excluding any national or county-wide landscape designation areas."