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1 February 1998
A Devon farmer has been given the go-ahead to build the county's first commercial wind turbine. Torridge District Council granted consent, albeit grudgingly, to Robert Binns in December. The council argues that it had little choice; Binns already had permission to build a turbine on his dairy farm at Ashwater, Devon in the southwest of England. This was granted by a planning inspector after he had appealed against the council's original refusal of the scheme. His subsequent application was for a variation of the consent to allow him to install a different make of turbine. Binns' next step is to apply for a power purchase contract for the 650-750 kW turbine under the next round of Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation (NFFO) support. If it goes ahead, the scheme could be the first fully commercial wind scheme to be built in Devon. The Wind Energy Group used to operate a demonstration turbine near Ilfracombe, but planners have successfully fought off all other attempts to develop wind projects in the county.
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