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Last Updated: Monday, 12 February 2007, 14:20 GMT
Green light for appeal wind farm
Den Brook Valley
RES says work will not start on site for another year
A wind farm planned for west Devon has been given the go ahead after objections were overturned on appeal.

Plans to build nine, 120m (394ft) high turbines in the Den Brook Valley near North Tawton were rejected last year by West Devon Borough Council.

But the plans by Renewable Energy Systems (RES) have now been given the thumbs up by a planning inspector.

He said the wind farm would not affect Dartmoor National Park which is five miles from the site.

Plans submitted

He said: "I have little doubt that this location would... rank highly among the landscapes most able to accommodate development of the type, scale and extent proposed."

Rachel Ruffle, of RES, said: "We're over the moon. This is really good for everyone in Devon who supports renewable energy and wants to do something about climate change."

Devon has positioned itself to be the leading South West county for installed renewable energy capacity
Matthew Spencer, Regen SW

She said work on the turbines would not start for another year.

Matthew Spencer, of the government's renewable energy agency Regen South West welcomed the decision.

"In one bound, Devon has positioned itself to be the leading South West county for installed renewable energy capacity and will overtake Cornwall once the scheme is built," he said.

"This decision demonstrates that a well-designed wind development close to Dartmoor can be compatible with the protection of the national park."

A member of Den Brook Valley Wind Turbine Action Group, which opposed the plan, said the decision probably meant the end of the battle for the group.

John Wellsby said the only move left was to seek a judicial review of the decision.

He told BBC News: "I think this is a very sad day for Devon. It's sad because some beautiful Devon landscape is going to be desecrated and it's said for the people who live in the vicinity of these wind turbines."

Mr Wellsby said it was also a sad day for local democracy as the relevant councils had all agreed the wind farm should not go ahead.

"Their views have been countermanded by a single civil servant," he added.

There is one other wind farm in operation in Devon - at Brad worthy in north Devon.

Plans are being considered for four more turbines on the site and plans have also been submitted for wind farms at Fallbrook Down near Ilfracombe and at Batsworthy near Rackenford in north Devon.

Another application has been submitted for three turbines at Goveton near Kingsbridge in the south of the county.


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