It was a pleasure to see local democracy working so well

Wednesday 5th November 2014 12:00 am

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ON Thursday night I had the pleasure of attending the special meeting of North Tawton Town Council when the Solar Park planning application was considered. I was most impressed with the manner in which the meeting was chaired, with all being given the opportunity to speak and hecklers being silenced politely. The applicants stated their reasons why the application should be recommended for approval. Close questioning revealed some inaccuracies. The objectors' case was succinctly put. It was apparent that the applicants did not follow planning guidelines by first considering brownfield sites and then poor quality farmland for solar parks. They chose a farm of 140 acres with grade 2 land currently growing cereal crops for financial rather than ecological reasons – they could sell any power to the milk factory next door without incurring charges from the National Grid. The applicant had originally obtained some local support by offering to build a visitor centre for use by local schools and also possibly house the local museum, the revised inducement is an open shed which the local police expressed concern could be used for questionable purposes. Each councillor expressed their view before a resolution to advise West Devon Borough Council to reject the application was unanimously approved. It was a pleasure to see local democracy working so well, I trust the decision is not reversed by mandarins higher up the food chain. John Conway UKIP Parliamentary Candidate, Central Devon.


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