Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Friday, 25 April 2014


I try very hard not to get involved in planning issues, as there is a whole raft of excellent elected councillors in place for that very purpose, but sometimes it is inevitable that I must express a view.

One such case is the proposal to place a large wind turbine at Boringdon Golf Park. I gather that the application has been withdrawn for technical reasons, but I suspect it will come back again at some stage.

I am not against all wind turbines, but they have to be in the right place. I am not yet persuaded by the arguments on man-made climate change, but it that it makes little difference: we are consuming finite resources at an increasing rate and obviously we need to move to renewable energy sources. This has to be done at a pace and at a cost we can afford, and it is important that we do not do this in isolation, but work for global agreement on this. I would like to see much more investment in the production of energy from wave and tidal power and I hope that the maritime research facility to be established under the City Deal will help us lead the way on this.

In the meantime solar panel farms and wind turbines will have a part to play although I have a hunch that many of these will be torn down in a few years time and regarded as modern day follies.

But wind turbines cannot be allowed to dominate and change existing and settled landscapes. The proposals for Boringdon Golf Club would certainly damage the landscape for most people living in Plympton and this renders it totally unacceptable. It cannot be right to blight the outlook for so many people.  I know that many of you have already objected and should be ready to do so again if it is brought back.

One of the complications is that the land in question appears to be just in the South Hams and it will be South Hams District Council that will determine this, yet the impact will be felt by the people living in Plymouth Council. These cross border planning issues are never very satisfactory, and it is vital to ensure that both councils are talking to each other. 

Boringdon Golf Club is an excellent local facility and I hope that its owners will see the writing on the wall and withdraw this application permanently.

posted by Gary @ 11:37