There’s a bit of a hoo-haa going on up in the hills above Honiton in Devon. The chairman of Luppitt Parish Council, local landowner Gavin Brake wants to install a wind turbine and not all the locals are happy! There is a public meeting taking place next week (details on the left) which I’m hoping to attend – to represent the newly formed East Devon Green Party. I also lived in the parish of Luppitt for a little while until last summer, and several of my daughter’s friends live up there – as it’s in the catchment area for her school (Upottery). Although I no longer live in Luppitt, I still live in the beautiful Blackdown Hills so find this whole issue very interesting. This is a photo (below) I took of the stunning landscape when we lived up on Dumpdon Hill – near the National Trust and Devon Wildlife Trust protected areas.
So I’ve heard that a few of the locals are unhappy about the plans in an AONB area. Luppitt is nestled in The Blackdown Hills – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This landscape is considered so precious that it has been protected for the nation. The criteria for designating an AONB include valuable wildlife, habitats, geology and heritage, as well as scenic views. There are 40 AONB’s in England and Wales. AONB’s have existed since 1949, although the Blackdown Hills was designated relatively recently, in 1991.
The Midweek Herald reported the story on 28th January saying that energy expert Mark Newton believes ” Every farm in the UK will have a wind turbine in five years’ time. With 75% of the UK’s land in the agricultural sector, on-farm wind power can represent a significant business opportunity for farmers and landowners, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change.”
Mr Brake says “I have managed to reduce my fuel oil consumption by nearly 50% and I hope to remove this completely in due course.My next steps will allow me to generate my own green electricity. I am planning to intall solar photovoltaic panels and I would also like to install one of two small wind turbines in a field behind my farmhouse.
Mr Brake explains “Nearly all of the houses in Luppitt are down in a deep valley, so small wind turbines won’t work there. I am one of a small number of people with properties in our community situated on the flat, upland plateeu where the wind is strong and constant. I feel somewhat guilty that I have not put up a small wind turbine already.”
You can read the full Midweek Herald article here.
Axminster Today/Pullman’s Weekly News also report the story (see article) explaining that “A campaign group called Save our Skyline (SOS) has been set up and so far 14 people have joined the group.”
Please add your comments below – do you live in the Blackdown Hills? What do you think about proposals for wind turbines in AONB’s ?