Parish Council news

Withiel Parish Council’s April meeting was notable for raised voices and robust discussions of everything from wind turbines to ASBOs. The Council decided to express its opposition to the construction of a new wind turbine at St Wenn. During the discussion Councillor Malone produced documents showing that Cornwall Council had set aside £16 million and was applying to itself for planning permission to build wind turbines on its own land – something that had been described as “balderdash” by County Councillor Chris Batters at a previous meeting. In a frank exchange of views, Councillor Batters told Councillor Malone to take it up with Cornwall Council’s Chief Executive Andrew Kerr, who had told him (Batters) that such claims were “balderdash”.

A forceful exchange of views also arose when Councillor Harper requested that the text of a notice rescinding an ASBO be read out at the meeting. The Chairman, Read more

Yet another wind farm

Withiel Parish Council has objected to a plan to establish another wind farm in the area, this one of five turbines 360 feet tall at Scotland Corner above Rosenannon. The Council has told Cornwall’s planners that there are already 41 turbines visible from the Downs above Withiel, which is probably a greater concentration of turbines than anywhere in Britain, and more are in the planning process. Not only is the cumulative impact ruining the landscape, and thus affecting tourism and property prices, but the local Grid is unable to cope with the random, intermittent generation Read more

MP hears Withiel’s concerns

North Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson attended the October meeting of Withiel Parish Council but held out no hope that he would help stop the spread of wind turbines. He was more positive on better broadband, and on the money Withiel is owed for the solar farm at Kerriers – but on turbines, the shutters are down.

It was pointed out that while Cornwall Council claims it is encouraging the proliferation of turbines because of national policy, other counties have not interpreted that policy in the same way – in fact this tiny parish has more wind turbines than Surrey, Sussex and Kent put together. Mr Rogerson said this was because the wind was in the west, but if you’ve stood on Beachy Head or Box Hill you’ll know there are many places in the Home Counties where wind turbines would be just as valid – or as useless – as Withiel. If the government was doing to the Home Counties what it is doing to Cornwall, there would be a riot.

Mr Rogerson said that the distribution of wind turbines was “unfair” but Read more

The Wind Farm Scam

The march of turbines across Withiel continues, and the worst is yet to come. The three monster turbines on the parish boundary at Roche may soon be joined by a tower of similar size at Great Brynn Barton, the Firkin and Varcoe turbines are running in adjacent fields nearby, the Drake turbine has been joined by the Hawkey turbine and the Piper tower is expected soon to rise between them, while REG Windpower will be erecting five of the tallest turbines in Cornwall on St Breock Down. Across Cornwall hundreds more turbines are in progress, and we can expect little help from our councillors or MPs – Cornwall Council is said to have applied to itself for twelve turbines.

While they are generating fabulous sums of money for their owners – the Dingle Brothers’ fly-built turbine at Bodmin makes them £300,000 a year – the galling fact is that these turbines are practically useless and most will never save the amount of greenhouse gas that was generated in making them and putting them up. The public has been fed a diet of propaganda by well-funded interests; the rich are getting richer at the expense of the poor, and the issue of climate change is Read more

Parish Council, July 3rd

Withiel Parish Council met on July 3rd and covered a lot of ground in more than two hours. The focus of the new council remains to establish the Parish on a sound financial footing, but a lot remains to be sorted out, and Deputy Chairman Sue Kirkby is working hard to get our house in order. Councillors are taking as much work as they can off the Clerk’s shoulders in order to reduce our administrative costs, which have not been well overseen. Issues covered included planning matters, St Clement’s Church graveyard, wind turbines, and footpath maintenance.


The council has agreed to support two planning applications – a change of use at Blackhay, where a former farm outbuilding will become an annexe to the house, and a retrospective application at Higher Brynn for use of buildings by a company called ProLift, which provides cherry-pickers and scissor-lifts and has been operating there for some time.

Mr Andy Pearson of ProLift attended during that part of the meeting during which the public can speak and answered a number of councillors questions about his company’s use of the land. The company has 370 cherry-pickers and scissor-lifts, 98 of them in Cornwall – they Read more

Wind turbine plague out of control

The wind turbine plague has reached the Parish with the erection of the Varcoe turbine which now towers over Withiel. Despite local campaigns and overwhelming rejection by the County Council, Piper and Drake have won their appeals and the first two turbines on the opposite side of the valley cannot now be stopped. They will stand over us for the rest of our lives. The bizarre decision on the Dingle Brothers fly-built tower has discomfited even our rabidly pro-turbine MP Dan Rogerson, and has removed any pretence of democratic control over these machines.

I went to Truro to talk to councillors about Cornwall’s plans for turbines and solar farms, and it was refreshing to hear none of them repeat the self-serving cant of the turbine industry. They know that much of the electricity from turbines and solar farms is never used, and that its effect on CO2 emissions is practically zero. They complain that they have never before faced an issue where council officers are so completely in control; civil servants, particularly planning inspectors, are Read more

Who pays the piper…

…ought to call the tune, but not where wind turbines are concerned. The Piper and Drake turbines in Withiel, rejected by the County Council’s planning committee for good reason, have been reinstated on appeal by a faceless bureaucrat over whom we can have no influence. Thus, aside from the Varcoe turbine already towering over our parish in all its hideous incongruity, we are to have two more, and several more are in the pipeline.

It is regrettable that some of our neighbours are prepared to despoil the parish for a handout, and that greed and opportunism should be dressed up as environmental concern in this way. The poison that has been planted here will long endure, and we will all be the worse for it.

It’s no use looking to our MP, Dan Rogerson, for any good sense. At long last, I have received from him a mildly patronising form letter which repeats the discredited mantras of the turbine industry and lards them with non-sequiturs and nonsense. A copy of the letter, and my reply to Mr Rogerson, is appended here. Reading it, one tends to think that Read more

Turbine application opposed

Withiel Parish Council has voted to oppose the construction of a second wind turbine on the crossroads just south of the village after a discussion at a packed council meeting in April.
The application, by Mr Firkin of Trevidgeowe, envisages a turbine 47 metres high in a field opposite the Varcoe turbine, which was granted planning permission by the County Council over the objections of the Parish Council and the village.
Only one parish councillor, Eric Harper, voted in support of the Firkin application.
Some 30 people made it standing room only in the committee room in the village hall as the issue was discussed. Parish Council chairman John Piper stood down and Read more

Some points about wind turbines

The more one looks into wind turbines and domestic solar power, the more they look like scams organised at the expense of the public.

They do nothing to combat global warming, but play a major part in reducing people who can’t afford to buy into the subsidy racket to fuel poverty.

Here’s a primer:

*Wind power may cost ten, fifty, a hundred times more than they say – nobody knows. This is because they are paid for what they produce, not what they deliver. For much of the time, they deliver only a small percentage of what they’re paid for, and for a large part of the time they deliver nothing at all.

A conventional power station is paid only for what the customer uses. But a wind turbine owner is paid for what is generated – the meter is at the foot of the tower. When they say that “x amount of electricity is generated from renewable sources in order to meet European targets” they don’t tell you that much of it disappears into thin air.

*The commonly repeated formula, that a wind turbine or farm Read more

Stop press: turbines decision

Cornwall Council’s East Area Planning Committee has rejected two planning applications for wind turbines in Withiel but accepted a third. The Piper and Drake turbines were rejected by large majorities – 12 – 0 in the first case, 10 – 0 in the second with two abstentions.

Unfortunately the turbine on Varcoe land at Hendra has been approved. This is 46 metres high, similar to the turbines on St Breock Downs, and will dominate the approach to the village from the A30. Regrettably, it is an agency turbine, erected and maintained by a Scottish company which also banks the subsidies, with the landowners getting a small percentage. Its value to Cornwall is nil.

A full report of the planning committee decision will follow.