The DPA is delighted that West Devon Borough Council has refused planning permission for the proposed wind turbine at South Tawton, close to the boundary of the National Park.

The application proposed a turbine with a height of 40 metres to the hub and 67 metres to the blade tip within 400 metres of the boundary of Dartmoor National Park. The DPA (among many others) has objected to the detrimental landscape effects so close to the National Park.

In their refusal of the application the Council states :
“The proposal by reason of its scale, movement and location would have a significant visual impact on the surrounding landscape character of the area with significant impact on the special character of Dartmoor National Park. This, together with a wider cumulative impact, particularly in views from Dartmoor National Park, and the diminution of landscape character are considered too adverse to be outweighed by the benefits of the scheme.”

The decision thus recognises several key aspects of the impact on the landscape namely: the view of Dartmoor from outside the National Park, the view of the Devon countryside from inside the National Park and importantly, the cumulative effect on the landscape of the proliferation of wind turbine development.

There is an interesting dance being played out on the periphery of the NP boundary with developers proposals repeatedly challenging the balance of landscape acceptability against the benefits of renewable energy generation. The disastrous approval at appeal of the scheme at Den Brook has set the benchmark for the area to the north of Dartmoor. Proposals are now forthcoming that are testing the scale of development that will be allowed between Den Brook and the edge of Dartmoor. There are two further significant proposals already in the pipeline.