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Plans for turbines on Cornwall Council land at Pennans land and Barwick Farm on indefinite hold

On 18 June 2015, Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, made an announcement in Parliament that changed the rules of planning in relation to onshore wind turbines. What the statement means in practice is that it will now be virtually impossible for a local planning authority to pass any planning application for a wind turbine. At a stroke, the Minister has essentially closed down a whole industry. Note that his statement has nothing to do with the subsidies paid to generators of renewable energy, it is all to do with the planning system. For a copy of Greg Clark's statement, see Ministerial statement 18 June

Cornwall Council has been working on proposals for wind turbines on 4 sites. For two of these, planning applications have been submitted at Ventonteague and Levalsa. The other 2 sites, both within my division, are at Pennans Land, just east of the village of Grampound, close to the two existing turbines on the Garlenick estate, and at Barwick Farm, in the parish of Cuby, just outside Tregony. Applications were about to be submitted but had not actually got into the planning system.

After the Ministerial statement, Cornwall Council planners, the project team and the Cabinet have reviewed the proposals to see what the chances were of thesea applications being successful within the planning system. The conclusion reached was that 3 out of4 would be unsuccessful. The only application that will now be pursued is that at Ventonteague, next to the existing Carland Cross windfarm alongside the A30. The applications for Pennans land and Barwick will not now be submitted and the Levalsa application will be withdrawn.

I appreciate that the cessation of onshore wind turbines will be viewed favourably by many people who have objected to turbines in the past and the move is consistent with the Conservative party's pledges before the election to stop onshore wind farms.

As many of you will know, my view is completely different. I have consistently supported the principle of onshore wind projects and have supported many specific proposals in Cornwall. In relation to the two projects that were proposed within my division, I felt that these would have been good for the environment, good for the finances of Cornwall Council and good for local communities who would have benefited from community funds. Unfortunately, it now looks very unlikely that they will happen in the foreseeable future. Circumstances may change if there is a legal challenge to Greg Clark's ruling - this is a possibility, but whether or not it happens remains to be seen.

See Cornwall Council press release on the subject.


July 2015

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