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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 September 2005, 13:41 GMT 14:41 UK
Back door claims on wind turbines
Wind turbine
The wind farm would help Devon reach its renewable energy targets
Countryside campaigners claim wind farm developers are getting access to places they have previously been barred from.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) said if Devon Wind Power (DWP) gets approval for Fullabrook Down, it will set a precedent for the UK.

It claims the company is bypassing local councils.

But DWP said the local and county councils have been involved in its application, although its size means the government must also consider it.

The High Court and Court of Appeal have backed repeated planning refusals by North Devon District Council.

Andrea Davies, CPRE's energy campaigner said: "Decisions based on flaws in the current wind farm planning regime could spoil fine upland landscapes and leave areas of "ordinary" lowland countryside marred by multitudes of turbines.

"The framework for planning decisions on renewable energy projects need substantial improvement.

"If this doesn't happen, there is a real risk of many fine landscapes being seriously damaged by wind farm development"

Significant contribution

DWP said its proposed wind farm was of a size appropriate to the Fullabrook site.

In a statement it said: "[It] will make a significant contribution towards meeting the renewable energy targets set for Devon to achieve by 2010.

"As consultees, North Devon District Council and Devon County Council have been fully involved in the application process.

"Objection by either authority would trigger a public inquiry at which the merits of the Fullabrook proposal, including the impact on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, will be publicly explored before the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry makes his decision."

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