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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 August, 2003, 15:12 GMT 16:12 UK
Windfarm turbines are approved
Windfarm turbine and pylon
The turbines will be a first for Devon
Permission has been given for the first windfarm in Devon, despite objections from some local people.

The scheme for three wind turbines at Bradworthy in north Devon has been approved by a government planning inspector following a public inquiry.

Local people who campaigned against it had cited noise and a proposed turbine height of 75 metres (246 feet) as main objections at the four-day inquiry, which was held in July.

The Secretary of State must still give his final approval to the decision, but it is highly unlikely that he will go against the recommendation of the inspectorate.

Renewable energy could contribute an additional 12,000 jobs to the South West economy
Regen South West

The government said in its energy White Paper released in February that it wants 10% of energy to come from renewable sources by 2010 and 20% by 2020.

Both north and west Devon have been recommended as good locations for wind farms.

Regen South West - a government agency set up to promote renewable energy - is delighted at the news.

It says renewable energy is the future and the Bradworthy windfarm could be the first of several.

The organisation said: "Renewable energy could contribute an additional 12,000 jobs and 260 million output to the South West economy in the next decade."

Open floodgates

However, campaigners fear the floodgates will now open, with many more applications for windfarms being submitted across the county.

The Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) says government targets for increasing renewable energy are already fuelling a rise in such applications.

The organisation said: "It is vital that the countryside is not sacrificed as a result of these applications."

Marie Hutchings, whose house in Bradworthy is near the proposed windfarm development, said: "There is no way of hiding the wind turbines.

"I am going to see them all the time."

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