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Turbine plan group responds to report

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: September 28, 2012

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FOWEY Renewable Energy Enterprise (FREE) has responded to an independent report commissioned by Fowey Landscape Action Group (FLAG) and published in last week's Cornish Guardian.

FREE has submitted planning applications for three wind turbines on the outskirts of Fowey, at Newtown.

"It is such a shame the FLAG members were unable to engage with us during our two-year development period," the FREE statement said.

"Our plans were displayed at the town hall, Lankelly Rugby Club and Fowey Leisure Centre."

Since learning of FREE's plans, FLAG has highlighted what it claims are flaws in the applications.

The two largest proposed turbines, model Endurance E-3120 80kW, were said not to exist by FLAG's independent report.

FREE responded: "The Endurance E-3120 is rated as a 50kW turbine in Canada, where it is manufactured. In the UK, the turbine is considered an 80kW turbine and this is the recognised output by Ofgem and Western Power."

FLAG's consultant also believed that the planning applications underestimated the power used by each individual property, a claim refuted by FREE, which said: "The estimated electrical consumption of a Cornish home that we used is a figure produced by Cornwall Council as part of its guidance on the development of onshore wind turbines in Cornwall.

"The planning department asks for the number of residential homes that could be powered, based on the UK, South West, and Cornwall averages."

Another issue concerns the relationship between sustainable planning and classified Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

FLAG was keen to draw attention to a revised National Planning Policy Framework paper, released in March, which it claims strengthens the protection of AONBs.

FREE acknowledged the release of the paper, but argued that it supported increased sustainable development.

"To this end we have closely studied the Cornwall AONB management plan that actually supports carbon reduction and community-owned renewable energy schemes within the AONB," the FREE statement said. "This was included in the full planning applications.

"Other policies within the AONB management plan also recognise the need for a sustainable green infrastructure and locally owned energy supply. To prevent any development in sight of the AONB would virtually restrict all development in Cornwall."

Suggestions by FLAG of a single, larger turbine erection on another wind farm outside the Fowey locale were also rejected.

FREE said: "We wonder what your readers would say if we asked them to offer a site in their community for a large-scale wind turbine but with the benefits and profits being sent out of their community."

It continued: "Our experts' advice is that the power from wind turbines is used locally first, so there is a real benefit to the community quite apart from the £100,000 our wind turbines could bring to the town for community projects for 20 years."

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