Luppitt Looking Forward to a Sustainable Future

I attended the ‘Renewable Energy in the Blackdown Hills’ meeting this evening in Luppitt Village Hall (with fellow East Devon Green Party member Kerry Gibbons). The public meeting organised by Luppitt Parish Council started at 6pm and I could only stay until 8pm so may have missed a few questions at the end, but I came away thinking it was an extremely positive event. I would say approximately 80 people were there.

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There were six speakers who explained their involvement in the Blackdown Hills and/or planning in the area. Then at about 7.30pm the floor was open for questions to the panel. I’ve blogged about this issue previously in Luppitt Renewable Energy Meeting explaining that this has all come about because of local Farmer Gavin Brake wanting to apply to have a single wind turbine on his farm, some distance from the village of Luppitt, which is in the Blackdown Hills, area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).

I learnt a lot this evening about how local organisations seem to be very supportive and even proactive where renewable energy is concerned. Here’s a few snippets of interest which caught my attention this evening:

Paul Baker – the director of DARE, the Devon Association For Renewable Energy started the meeting off talking about what DARE does and it’s part in RE4D Renewable energy for Devon. Paul explained that they do all they can to promote renewable energy in Devon.

Amanda Newsome from Natural England talked about how Natural England gives areas the AONB status. Amanda made clear that climate change is a serious threat to the world today and that they support low carbon energy alternatives in “appropriate locations”. They only comment on planning applications of national significance not micro generators (like the one proposed in Luppitt).

Lisa Turner, a planning officer for the BHAONB – the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty told the room how 37% of the region is a National Park or an AONB, which both have the same status. There are 36 AONB’s in the UK which is 15% of our land. Their policies support renewable energy as long as other factors are not affected.

Andy Carmichael – from the EDCC (East Devon District Council) planning department explained how microgenerators were now removed from planning and don’t necessarily even need permission anymore.

The R.S.P.B.’s senior conservation officer for the south west region Gavin Broomfield shared the view of Natural England in that climate change is the biggest threat to all life on earth. They predict that by 2050 15 – 37% of the world’s species will have become extinct. Gavin’s section was so interesting – I’ll have to write a dedicated piece on it but basically he said that “the R.S.P.B. welcome and support wind farms”.

Questions came at the end and far from a strategically thought out wave of objections, or at least a bit of furore which I’d expected, there wasn’t really anything very interesting said against renewable energy or putting up a wind turbine in the area. I believe there is a group against wind turbines in the village and surrounding areas but after listening to the overwhelming support from the 5 professionals on the panel, I hope that maybe they all went home to digest what they’d heard before thinking about whether to oppose any applications.

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Please add your comments below about the Luppitt issue or wind turbines and wind farms in general.

Photo credits: Luppitt Summer Madness by Nigel Lenton

Wind Turbines by locksparkfarm.wordpress.com/2008/06/29/wind-farm/

5 Replies to “Luppitt Looking Forward to a Sustainable Future”

  1. I have never understood why people object to wind turbines. I think they are a beautiful sight – the picture above confirms this. Whenever I am travelling away from home and wind turbines appear on the horizon, I cannot take my eyes off them.
    I also find it disheartening that some people can only interpret the word “environment” to mean what they see around them, failing to appreciate its real meaning.
    It is a contradiction to say that you are concerned about the environment and then to object to wind turbines.
    I am glad the meeting at Luppitt appears to have come out on the right side.
    Thanks for the report, Sharon.

  2. Planning for Wind turbines is difficult, as some people can still stop an individual, business or a community installing a wind turbine, simply because they don’t like the look of it.
    East Devon Planning can help by making the case clearer and easier for individuals and businesses to install wind turbines, especially on farms.
    Wind turbines will help the country secure its energy needs without too much reliance on imported energy.
    Wind turbines and other forms of renewable energy will help the local economy thrive.
    The recently announced feed in tariffs will allow land owners and homeowners to earn an impressive return on any investment when installing wind, hydro and solar PhotoVoltaic
    http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/pn10_010/pn10_010.aspx

    Everyone should speak to their local renewable energy installers and invest as soon as possible for a SAFE and SECURE return.
    Devon association of renewable energy can offer impartial and expert advice to make any installation go smoothly.
    Join up now http://www.devondare.org/membershipBenefits.htm

  3. I agree Christine – I think they are beautiful because they are a solution. Their existence will help save this planet. Happy to report Christine – we just need Kerry to pop on and let us know what happened at the end as like I say, I had to leave just before eight. Hopefully she got out alive!!

  4. Interesting to see the Natural England input – as for my application for a Gaia wind turbine less than 10k’s north from Luppitt, they have been persistent with their concerns on wildlife and visual impact!

    The objectors here were unfortunately quite ill informed, but now that they have the “bee in their bonnets” seem incapable of hearing any other viewpoint. Most are recent incomers, either retired, with horses or with lots of dogs and no connection with agriculture or with real managment of the land.

  5. Thank you Michael & Graham. I went up to Overday Farm today to find out more about Gavin’s proposed turbine, see the spot etc. All a lot of fuss about nothing there I think. We need more wind turbines, many many more, and soon!

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