United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Southwest project approval

The second half of National Wind Power's proposed wind farm at Bears Down in north Cornwall has finally been approved. Accepting the recommendation of their planning officer, Restormel councillors voted ten to five in favour of seven turbines, less than one year after refusing a similar application. The Bears Down site straddles the border between North Cornwall District and Restormel Borough Councils. In November 1999, while Restormel rejected their side of the project, North Cornwall granted consent for the larger half. In May, NWP resubmitted its application, having been granted permission for nine turbines on the North Cornwall part of the site. As NWP's Matt Partridge explains: "The key factor for them to consider was that there was a material change; we now had planning permission for nine turbines." Although NWP is delighted with the result, Partridge warns there is a final obstacle. Since the County Council had raised an objection to the project, the local authority has to refer the decision to the south west government office. NWP expects to know within two months whether it has firm consent. Subject to a positive outcome, it will then press ahead immediately with the project which has a NFFO-3 power purchase contract. This runs from January 2000 and any further delays in the project will mean loss of income.

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