Welcome to the website of the DBJRG (Den Brook Judicial Review Group)        

We believe:

  • There is real danger of a serious noise nuisance and Renewable Energy Systems (RES) are brushing this under the carpet.
  • The concerns and rights of local people are being pushed aside

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Update - 14th May 2013

RES have submitted a planning application to West Devon Borough Council aimed to drastically change the all-important Amplitude Modulation (AM) Noise Conditions.

The application number is 00393/2013
It can be viewed by putting the number into the online planning search at:
http://apps.westdevon.gov.uk/planningSearch/default.aspx
 
It is the view of the Den Brook Judicial Review Group that, if approved, RES's proposals would leave those living in the locality with neither proper nor adequate protection from potentially health damaging noise, particularly during night-times.

We further believe this application confirms that the wind farm is not only poorly designed and inappropriately located but that construction of the wind farm is unlikely to be viable without the developer significantly undermining the currently imposed AM noise conditions.

The application contains a range of deceptively hidden and serious technical shortcomings. What's more, it may well be unlawful.

Ideally, professionally backed representations need to be submitted to WDBC along with general comments from individuals. Professional expertise and legal advice will of course cost money.

The Den Brook case sets a precedent nationwide so please help us to also help you:

Donations by electronic transfer to:                Or by cheque made out to:
Den Brook Judicial Review Fund                     Den Brook judicial Review Fund
Sort code: 52-30-06                                         and send to:
Account No. 24575658                                    Nick Jewell (treasurer)
                                                                         Lynderies
                                                                         Heath
                                                                         Spreyton
                                                                         Devon
                                                                         EX17 5AN

THANK YOU


Please note:
A Briefing Paper has been prepared by the DBJRG providing
a concise overview of RES's planning application. The applicant's proposals are aimed to significantly reduced noise controls for the proposed Den Brook wind turbines  which will undoubtedly have a knock-on affect for wind turbines nationwide.

Please email: info@denbrookvalley.co.uk for a copy or more information

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Update - 5th September 2012

Comment:
                  
Den Brook’s Achilles Heel

THE city-based corporate developer proposing to construct an industrial scale wind farm amidst our tranquil rural communities surrounding the Den Brook valley has declared an inability to comply with conditions of planning approval.
   
At a recent Community Liaison Group meeting it quickly became clear that something has to give. It appears that neighbours must suffer noise impacts far greater than the Government's Planning Inspector deemed acceptable otherwise the wind farm development may not be viable.
   
RES's chief technical director flew in from Glasgow to inform those living around the proposed wind farm that the planning conditions imposed to prevent health damaging sleep disturbance from constantly pulsating wind
turbine noise are, in his words, "unlawful; unenforceable; unreasonable; imprecise and unnecessary. There are Government Inspectors and there are Government Inspectors: this one got it wrong."  So claimed RES’s technical expert.
   
Methinks RES doth protest too much. For more than eight years RES has assured us that there will not be a noise nuisance from the huge 120 metre-high wind turbines.
   
If that is truly the case, what really is the problem for RES?
   
 *  Is it that years of misleading denials over possible "EAM" wind turbine            noise hasn’t green-washed over the local populace?
 *  Is it that the truth about wind turbine noise impacting people and their          health is overtaking the now derelict past assurances?
 *  Is it that minimising noise impacts was not adequately factored in to the        design and layout of the wind farm?
   
Could it be that the Achilles Heel of Den Brook is Amplitude Modulation; a factor not willingly nor voluntarily addressed by the developer?
   
Whatever it is, anything less than the protection deemed both appropriate and necessary by the Government Inspector is unacceptable and will, without doubt, be challenged.

DBJRG

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Update - 10th August 2012

Community Liaison Group

During the Den Brook Community Liaison Group meeting last evening, Dr. Bass, RES' in-house chief technical expert, claimed he knew of no circumstance in the UK where the sound anomaly termed Excess Amplitude Modulation (EAM) occurred.  

This EAM sound manifestation, however, is the focus of a £115,000 detailed evaluation by the UK wind industry's trade body, RenewableUK, and so cannot be a figment of the human imagination......

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Update - 1st November 2011

The Den Brook Amplitude Modulation Noise Condition



".... it is possible for this condition to be employed in a transparent and objective manner to demonstrate the existence of excess AM in wind turbine noise....These findings should be welcomed by both wind-farm neighbours, developers, and decision makers in the planning process.. The Den Brook condition appears to be a readily workable solution to this very real problem."

Dr Lee Moroney

Dr John Constable

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Update from Mike Hulme - 1st June 2011

Court of Appeal Judgement 

Judgement for my Appeal in relation to the Den Brook Amplitude Modulation (AM) noise conditions was handed down by three Lord Justices at the Court of Appeal (CoA) last week, 26th May 2011.

Whilst on the face of it my appeal was dismissed, i.e. the Judges determined that the Inspector had not erred in law, the wider outcome was pretty much a total success:

The CoA rejected the respondents’ submissions [judgement, para. 33] and acknowledged that:

“The enforcement mechanism does not operate through the scheme adopted under condition 21.” 

Clearly, it is a complicated situation, not helped by RES claiming ‘success’ simply because planning permission has not been quashed; that was not the intention! 

RES are yet again avoiding the real concerns and issues addressed by my Appeal case.

Nevertheless, RES now have to meet the unprecedented and significant reduction of the noise limits in the event of Amplitude Modulation (AM) noise pollution from the wind farm.

In coming to their judgement the CoA has not only set in stone the parameters of the Den Brook AM noise condition but also cut off any further opportunities for RES (they have tried) to redefine those parameters through the 'scheme' required by the noise condition. It is exactly what I set out to achieve.

Hopefully, others will now be able to make use of, and benefit from, this AM noise condition precedent for their own cases.


For more details or a copy of the Judgement please email:
info@denbrookvalley.co.uk

Thank you all very much indeed for your unstinting support throughout this admirably BBC2 depicted Wind Farm War.

This is not the end of the story. Please help us by donating whatever you can.

By electonic transfer to:

Account: Mrs B H & Mr M W Hulme
Account number: 30695912
Sort Code: 20-68-11

Or by cheque made to: ‘Den Brook Judicial Review Fund’ and send to:
Nick Jewell (Treasurer), Lynderies, Heath, Spreyton, Devon, EX17 5AN


All the very best

Mike


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Open Letter from our Treasurer – 11th Feb 2011


Dear All,

Den Brook Wind Farm – It’s not a done deal………..

Anyone following the cases for or against industrial wind farm development will be aware that noise, sleep disturbance and associated risks to health currently sit high-up in the debate.

Throughout the world, eminent medical and acoustic experts are bringing forward decisive testimony exposing many serious deficiencies within both noise impact assessments and government guidelines for protecting neighbours.

The Den Brook wind farm is just one of many such cases in point.

Although Den Brook was approved more than 12 months ago, problems surrounding noise remain at issue. Planning conditions, unprecedented for addressing specific noise, were imposed, but are widely considered to be less than robust. Even the developer, RES, is concerned that compliance could undermine viability for building the 9 x 120m high turbines.

The basic problem stems from the incidence of stable atmospheric types of weather conditions. During such conditions in and around the Den Brook valley, wind turbines are likely to generate a repetitive, pulsating, low frequency noise phenomenon known as Amplitude Modulation (AM), particularly during evening and night times. This poses a serious, long-term threat of sleep disturbance for many neighbours living around the proposed site.

At the outset RES stated that there would not be a noise nuisance, but, more recently, amended their claim to no ‘statutory’ noise nuisance. Insertion of this single word, 'statutory', not only provides the developer with a legal defence of ‘best practicable means’, but provides them a loophole leaving neighbours with little prospects for any abatement in event of the likely acoustic intrusion from health-threatening noise pollution.

The compulsory noise conditions require that RES devise a ‘scheme’ with the purpose of demonstrating how they intend to evaluate AM. Until agreed and implemented the wind farm would not be permitted to sell electricity to the national grid.

The ‘scheme’ subsequently proposed by RES is by anyone’s standards extremely complex. It requires that a number of obscure filtering processes be applied to measurements of AM and implements a sliding penalty scale that assumes high levels of AM ‘dosage’ are both acceptable and tolerable. Close scrutiny of the scheme reveals that any resulting penalty deemed necessary and applied to the specified noise limits will actually not make one jot of difference when the noise problem occurs.

Frankly, it beggars belief. In fact, the result of applying RES’ AM evaluation proposals would be to permit even more noise pollution than was intended by the Planning Inspector. And yet, the Inspector’s imposition of these unprecedented noise conditions was specifically aimed to control the effects of AM.

Once again, we are in the midst of a determined, now familiar campaign of smoke and mirror techniques, presumably designed to secure investment and profitability enabling the developer to build the wind farm.

As a result, Mike Hulme, in line with a fundamental remit of the Den Brook Judicial Review Group (DBJRG), sought leave to challenge the planning permission by addressing legal issues for this scandalous fiasco surrounding noise conditions.

The High Court hearing last June saw Deputy Judge Frances Patterson find against Mike in so far that the noise conditions legally complied with government guidance for conditions, provided that the ‘scheme’ remains in place for the lifetime of the wind farm. Her judgement was however, not empowered to examine technicalities contained within RES’ proposed scheme.

Mike has therefore taken the case a stage further. In December 2010, The Rt Hon Lord Justice Sullivan granted permission for Mike to appeal Deputy Judge Patterson’s earlier judgement. On granting permission Lord Justice Sullivan gave the following reasons:

“The importance of conditions 20 and 21 [AM noise conditions] is in no doubt, nor is there any doubt as to what the Inspector wished to achieve by way of conditions 20 and 21. The Appellant’s submission that this drafting of conditions 20 and 21 failed to achieve that objective has a real prospect of success.”

The Court of Appeal case is scheduled to be heard in a few weeks, 8/9th March 2011, at the High Court of Appeal in London.

Clearly, Mike is giving his all and making every possible effort to ensure adequate and robust protection is not only in place should the Den Brook wind farm eventually get built, but also available, as a precedent, for other communities facing prospective wind farm developments. Without it, ever more wind farm neighbours are liable to be sacrificed and subjected to intolerable noise intrusion.

Interestingly, a further significant question mark has now come to the fore. Can the developer viably continue with the Den Brook project in light of the constraints imposed by a robust AM noise condition? Developers would be required to shut down offending turbines in the event of AM noise!

For more than six years now, the financial toll on Mike and his wife, Barbara, let alone the work and research entailed, has been enormous. Achievements are already pushing this and the wider noise case to the forefront, forcing the wind industry and Government to take notice and act. In order to continue they urgently need our support for their extraordinary efforts, so please, stand alongside this struggle for democracy, justice and fair play.

Please consider helping now, donate whatever you can, by sending a cheque made out to:
‘Den Brook Judicial Review Fund’ and send directly to me: Nick Jewell, Lynderies, Heath, Spreyton, Devon, EX17 5AN

Or to: Mike Hulme, Coxmoor, Spreyton, Crediton, Devon, EX17 5AR

Thank you.

All the very best

Nick
Treasurer DBJRF

Contact:
info@denbrookvalley.co.uk


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Statement 23 Aug 2010 – Appeal Judgement: 


The overall judgement given the strength, validity and merit in the public interest of our case is disappointing. Nevertheless, we have yet to examine the detail; a transcript is expected later this week. There are 21 days in which to appeal, during which we will be closely scrutinising the small print. 

Our new government seemingly remains intent to massively increase the numbers of onshore wind farms. The grounds appealing the Den Brook decision also challenged further nationwide developments of wind farms too close to people's homes, where the likelihood of unrelenting noise pollution and potential for long term damage to people's health and wellbeing is significantly increased. Our case has attracted a great deal of attention and support countrywide. 
There is now a widespread and worldwide call for minimum separation distances of at least 1,500 metres; the huge 120 metres high turbines proposed for Den Brook are less than 800 meters from the nearest households. 

No doubt RES are relieved by the judgement. They are now conspicuously attempting to divert attention away from noise concerns towards their 36 thousand pounds community fund offer, which is perhaps not surprising given they stand to bank somewhere between 3 and 4 million pounds each year; much of which is subsidy derived directly from and significantly increasing each and every one of our electricity bills.

Unfortunately, concerns remain and are further exacerbated by RES on the one hand saying there will be 'no noise nuisance' and now asking the Local Authority to accept a means of dealing with the requirements of the noise condition which actually permits more noise than the planning Inspector allowed for in his decision. 

DBJRG’s legal team strongly advise that every householder surrounding the proposed wind farm ensure they have adequate legal costs protection insurance in case the need to take private nuisance proceedings arises in the event of excessive noise emanating from the turbines. 
In light of RES’ previously disingenuous noise assessments, together with the somewhat unpredictable nature of potential noise problems, one might understandably be a tad wary. We simply don’t accept that it’s reasonable to expect more families join the ranks of those already having their lives devastated by wind turbine generated noise pollution without any workable form of redress.

News Update 6th Aug 2010 - High Court

Reserve Judgement on Den Brook Appeal

Click here to read more

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Press Release 21st July 2010 


Den Brook Wind Farm
High Court Judicial Review - 27/8/9th July 2010

Leading member of the Den Brook Judicial Review Group (DBJRG), Mike Hulme, is returning to London’s High Court of Justice later this month seeking a second judicial review [s288 appeal] challenging the decision of the Planning Inspectorate to allow the development of a wind farm in the heart of the mid Devonshire countryside.
The driving force behind the challenge is directed towards the noise conditions that are widely considered to be defectively worded. Nine further grounds are also to be pursued, and it is estimated that the hearing will last for three days.
For the past 6 years Mr Hulme has quizzed developer, Renewable Energy Systems (RES), over issues concerning potential noise impacts from the proposed wind turbines. As a consequence, a number of significant changes have been made to the developer’s assessments, but the levels of potential noise pollution remain in dispute.
RES continue to claim that there will be “no noise nuisance” from the Den Brook wind farm development, and that conditions to control excessive noise are unnecessary. On the other hand, evidence from DBJRG’s noise experts, following detailed analysis of RES’ own long-term wind speed data, convinced the Planning Inspector that a noise condition to control excessive noise was both “reasonable and necessary”.
Disturbing noise problems have recently become a major issue with a similarly sized wind farm close to the Welsh village of Altwalis. After more than 6 month of complaints, the problems remain unresolved. Local MPs are now calling for the Altwalis wind farm to be shut down, and environmental health officers from Carmarthenshire’s District Council are currently faced with a dilemma for whether to take out a statutory noise nuisance action, which could cost local taxpayers many tens of thousands of pounds.
“The defective wording effectively renders the Den Brook noise conditions useless for our protection,” claims Mike Hulme. “Similar circumstances to those at Altwalis could very easily happen here. We must ensure that the noise conditions here are both precise and enforceable”.
“Shortly after I lodged the appeal, RES proposed a written scheme attempting to get around the wording errors. Astonishingly, the scheme actually makes the Den Brook noise conditions even worse in terms of protection for neighbours.”
RES appear reluctant to have noise conditions imposed on the development that would adequately protect neighbours in the event of excessive noise pollution. In the event that such noise problems do occur, an effective noise condition would compel the developer to adopt mitigation measures that may require switching off some, or all, of the turbines for considerable periods of time. This could drastically affect the developer’s profitability, or even significantly undermine the overall financial viability of this wind farm.
DBJRG’s legal team is in no doubt that a precautionary approach should be adopted, as indeed was the view expressed by the Inspector in his decision to approve the wind farm.
“Adequate protection preventing neighbours from becoming exposed to excessive noise and health risks is definitely not up for negotiation, nor should it be,” commented Mr Hulme, who is personally taking the case to the High Court.
“DBJRG needs your help - We have the expertise onboard, the evidence and the resolve, but seriously short of funds. We are very grateful and appreciate that many of our hundreds of supporters have already generously donated a great deal of hard-earned cash towards challenging this development over the years. Please dig deep and help to financially support our resolute efforts once more.”

Notes:

(i) Although commonly termed a Judicial Review, the appeal is more correctly an “s288 appeal”.
(ii) For a full copy of the s288 grounds of appeal, please email: info@denbrookvalley.co.uk
(iii) Further information contact: Mike Hulme of the Den Brook Judicial Review Group (DBJRG): phone# 01363 82220 or by email as (ii) above.
(iv) Donations can be made through PayPal via DBJRG’s website:
http://www.denbrookvalley.co.uk/11.html
Or by cheque made out to “DBJRG Fund” and send to: DBJRG Treasurer, Nick Jewel, Lynderies, Heath, Spreyton, Devon EX17 5AN
Or to: Mike Hulme, Coxmoor, Spreyton, Crediton, Devon EX17 5AR
(v) The ‘Hearing’ is scheduled for 27/8/9th July 2010 at the High Courts of Justice, London -Case reference no. CO/977/2010
(vi) Altwalis wind farm noise problems, see:
http://www.jonathanedwards.org.uk/calls-for-alltwalis-wind-farm-to-be-shut-down

DBJRG
21st July 2010
END

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NEWS UPDATE 21/06/2010 

CRUNCH TIME ON TURBINE DECISION

Wind Farm Challenge gets High Court Hearing Date.

The appeal against the descision to approve a wind farm in the Den Brook Valley is set to be heard in the High Court in London next month. The case will be heard at the High Court on Tuesday, July 27th and Wednesday, July 28th. Click here to read the full story.


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NEWS UPDATE 04/02/2010     

Den Brook – current situation and future action

As you may all already know, the Inspector for the Public Inquiry granted RES approval for the Wind Farm development, subject to planning conditions, including an unprecedented condition regarding noise levels. Click here to see the full
Decision. Although the Decision was obviously disappointing, the struggle is not over. Legal and noise experts have advised that the hard won noise condition, which aims to protect local residents, is defectively worded and therefore unenforceable and as a result does not provide essential protection in the event of an excessive noise nuisance.

There are those in the DBJRG that feel unable to further commit the enormous amount of time and effort that will be required to continue to challenge approval of the development so a restructuring of the group has been agreed. A limited company, DBJRG Ltd., was set up within the DBJRG to oversee and limit cost liabilities. The limited company is now to be wound up, but the DBJRG is to continue with Mike Hulme taking forward, in his own name, an appeal of the Inspector’s decision to the High Court in London. As well as challenging the noise condition, legal advice is that several other aspects of the Inspector’s decision are considered to err in law and 10 grounds have been lodged for the Appeal.

We hope you will feel able to continue to support the DBJRG and Mike’s herculean efforts to achieve the desired result in this struggle – please feel free to contact Mike by post: Coxmoor, Spreyton, Crediton, Devon. EX17 5AR  or email him at:
info@denbrookvalley.co.uk or by phone: 01363 82220.  It goes without saying, the DBJRG and he will welcome your support, and any financial or other help you may still feel able to offer.


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NEWS UPDATE - Tues 15th December

The Outcome of the Public Enquiry Announced. Please see our latest press
release

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BREAKING NEWS........ 8TH DECEMBER 2009

GOVERNMENT SUPPRESSES NOISE PROTECTION EXPERT ADVICE

New Evidence Shows that Government Suppressed Expert Advice to Lower Wind Turbine Noise Limits Intended to Protect Residents

Summary
New evidence released by the Dept. of Energy and Climate Change under a Freedom of Information request shows that Government suppressed a recommendation by its own acoustics consultants to tighten current noise regulations on wind turbines in order to protect local residents from night time noise. This does little credit to the Department, and must be corrected immediately.

Introduction
In 2006 the Government published a crucial report on wind turbine noise and its effects on nearby residents by Hayes McKenzie Partnership (HMP) . This study has been used to support the view that there is no reason to revise existing Government wind farm noise guidelines, nor that there are any health ramifications of turbine noise at neighbouring dwellings.

Mr Mike Hulme of the Den Brook Judicial Review Group, a group of local residents opposing a wind turbine development close to their houses in Devon, submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request asking to see all draft versions of this study.

The Government, that is the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), refused the request, claiming that it was not in the public interest for these to be released.

Mr Hulme appealed against this decision, and the appeal was upheld by the Information Commissioner . Consequently the Government has been obliged to release earlier drafts of the HMP report.

The drafts reveal that the final published report silently removed earlier recommendations that:

1. the night time wind turbine noise limit should be reduced from 43dB to 38dB, and,
2. in the event that the turbine noise has a discernible beating character, the limit should be further reduced to 33dB.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) had sought to suppress the drafts, claiming that it was not in the public interest for these to be released. However, the Information Commissioner overruled DECC. The Commissioner’s report says:

the Commissioner is conscious that climate change and the need to seek safe and viable alternatives to fossil fuels are major political issues. Therefore, the Commissioner believes that disclosure of this information could be used to feed into the debate with regard to what role wind farms should have in seeking to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions and how that should be balanced with regard to the potential effect that wind farms could have on people’s health.

Read more:
i) Commentary in full click
here
ii) ICO findings click
here

iii) Released draft HMP reports click on:
Draft 1
Draft 2
Draft 3
iv) The released emails click here

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NEWS UPDATE 01/11/2009 

Public Inquiry Ends. Decision Due at the End of Year 

DBJRG are pleased to announce that the final stage of the public inquiry ended on Monday 16th October 2009. We felt that our experts put together an excellent case against RES, the Developer, and we would like to thank our team for all their hard work, commitment and professionalism. We understand that a Decision from the Inspector should be expected by the end of the year.

For a summary of the arguments put to the Inspector, please click here 
DBJRG Closing Statement   RES Closing Statement . For a short summary please click here Crediton Courier.

We are shocked to find that RES are attempting to claim for costs against West Devon Borough Council. Yet RES consented to the Second Inquiry. For details please click
here  Any successful claim for costs against the Council is likely to lead to an increase in the Council Tax for local people.

People may be aware that RES have just put out publicity stating that they are considering offering local people the option to buy shares in the windfarm. Please be aware that financial involvement with the project implies acceptance of higher noise levels in your property. So we would strongly advise you to read the small pring before accepting.

DBJRG would like to thank all our contributors and supporters for their commitment and involvement over the last few years. DBJRG are continuing to fundraise as not all bills have been paid, so please don't disappear now, we still need you! We do feel, however, that a very good job has been done and would like to thank all contributors, large or small, without whom this would not have been possible.

Please watch this space for oncoming Fund Raising Events.

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NEWS UPDATE - Inquiry Reconvenes on Tues 20th October - Mon 26th October 2009 

The Inspector has confirmed that the Noise Evidence which was adjourned on 3 August as the Inquiry ran out of time, will now be heard between Tues October 20 - Mon 26th October 2009. The Venue is Ockment Community Centre, North Street, Okehampton, EX20 1AR. The Evidence will be heard first from DBJRG witnesses and then from RES' witnesses.

The Inquiry is open to the general public and we openly encourage local people to attend. Please contact DBJRG if you would like to know more. As ever, donations to the cause are very welcome. We are still fundraising to cover our legal and expert costs.
Click here to donate online.

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NEWS UPDATE 24th July 2009

Public Inquiry: Noise Evidence Adjourned to October 21st - 26th 2009

After only 2 days it has become obvious to all that the Inquiry will run out of time. Not all the evidence can be heard by 3 August. The noise evidence has therefore been adjourned to 21st - 26th October 2009.

Both DBJRG and WDBC had advised the Planning Inspectorate in the last few weeks that not enough time had been allocated for the Inquiry. But RES objected strongly to an adjournment insisting that it was possible to cover all topics. RES then fired a last minute surprise by introducing a new expert witness only days before the Inquiry began, which deepened the timing problem.

The Inquiry will continue as planned for all the other topics; landscape, policy, energy generation etc. Anyone wishing to speak and make their views heard to the Inspector can do so on 28th July [Tuesday evening] and 31st July [Friday afternoon] next week.

The evidence heard so far includes landscape and archaeology from WDBC's expert witnesses claiming that the wind farm proposed by RES is poorly designed and inappropriately sited, and will have unacceptable and damaging impacts not only on the Den Brook Valley but surrounding areas of the tranquil Devonshire countryside; which of course include the Dartmoor National Park. James Paxman, Chair of the Dartmoor Preservation Association, delivered a strong and powerful submission on behalf of the CPRE adding to and in full support of the evidence from WDBC

To be continued at 10am Mon 27th July with professional evidence from Sarah Reynolds of The Landscape Partnership. 

The 3 months delay for presenting our noise case will add further to the difficulties with financing our work. We ask all those who support the DBJRG in trying to bring the truth about noise issues with wind farms into the public view to help and donate whatever they can to assist us. To donate, please click
here.


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NEWS UPDATE 10th July 2009

PUBLIC INQUIRY extended: starts 23 July 2009 for 8 days - to 3 August 2009 before Inspector Pykett

The Inquiry is due to start at 10am at Okehampton College Gym, Okehampton College, Mill Road, Okehampton, EX20 1PW

DBJRG are being represented by a very thorough and eloquent expert and legal team.There is clear and unequivocal evidence that the noise from the turbines could extend far further than RES predicted when they first applied for planning permission, meaning that many more local people and properties are likely to suffer noise pollution. RES themselves now acknowledge that their earlier predictions are no longer accurate. It is largely down to the campaigning and legal action of DBJRG that they have been forced to acknowledge this.

DBJRG are also putting forward expert evidence on landscape issues, on why our tranquil, rural community and environment is not the right place for huge, industrial turbines. On this aspect, another local group, DBVAG are also helping - please see the DBVAG website:
http://www.denbrook.co.uk/ 

PLEASE send donations to cover our legal and expert costs to: Nick Jewell, Treasurer, DBJRG. Lynderies , Spreyton, EX17 5AN. Cheques made payable to DBJRG. Or you can donate online (link to donations page)

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NEWS UPDATE 19th April 2009

PUBLIC INQUIRY - 23 July 2009 for 6 days with Inspector Pykett.

The Inquiry is planned to open at 10.00 at Okehampton College Gym, Okehampton College, Mill Road, Okehampton EX20 1PW*.

A PIM (Pre Inquiry Meeting) is to take place on 01/06/2009 at Spreyton Village Hall, starting at 10am. At the PIM, DBJRG, West Devon Borough Council and RES, the developers will be discussing with the Inspector, the most appropriate way to run the Inquiry. Member of the public are welcome to attend. DBJRG will be represented by our barrister.

Mike Hulme of DBJRG, and our experts have now spent many hours examining the new information RES has supplied in support of their application for the wind farm. There is clear and unequivocal evidence that the noise from the turbines could extend far further than RES predicted when they first applied for planning permission, meaning that many more local people and properties are likely to suffer noise pollution.

RES themselves now acknowledge that their earlier predictions are no longer accurate. It is clear that RES' latest predictions are yet again fundamentally flawed and continue to seriously understate the noise problems. Even the professional body which represents this country's acousticians, the Institute of Acousticians, is currently reviewing the way in which acousticians working on behalf of developers such as RES have repeatedly under predicted noise impacts from wind farms over past years.

DBJRG will also be providing evidence at the Inquiry and the PIM regarding the impact the windfarm will have our our landscape and surroundings. More details will follow.

*Disabled people who may be concerned about facilities at the inquiry should write to the venue or contact WDBC.

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NEWS UPDATE ....... 03 APR 2009.                                                                                 

RES have now supplied some new Environmental Impact data and information . We do not yet know how complete it is as it has been supplied in an unwieldy and difficult to access format.

Everyone is welcome to consult the information which is on display at Bow Londis Stores and North Tawton post office. Be warned, it is very cumbersome to consult!

We have asked RES to publicise the information in way that will mean people can actually use it but do not know how or whether they will respond.

We are pleased to report that 2 recent Windfarm applications have been turned down by the Inspector. The Shipdham case is particularly favourable to us as it recognises some of the noise issues that are relevant to Den Brook Valley. Here are the judgements:

pdf of Shipdham        pdf of Dover 

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PUBLIC INQUIRY POSTPONED - WAS MARCH 2009, NEW DATE UNKNOWN 

Some of you may have received notice from WDBC notifying postponement of the Den Brook wind farm Inquiry which was due to take place on 10/03/2009.

The postponement results from letters submitted to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) made by the Den Brook Judicial Review Group (DBJRG) together with many from supporters - it's encouraging that our combined voices are effective against the might of corporate and Government organisations!

Our view is that the Inquiry cannot take place until we have received all the noise and other data we need from the developers, RES. We understand that they are undertaking new tests. DBJRG has also requested further information we believe we need to assess noise and other issues prior to the Inquiry.

 The new data requested includes all the anemometry wind speed data and associated information that is essential for accurate evaluation of the proposed wind farm and its likely noise and other impacts. Only very recently, for example, have the wind farm developers reluctantly acknowledged that CO2 savings from wind farms are only half [430g rather than 860g CO2/kWh] that previously claimed. Is there any wonder that we are concerned about the truthfulness of information provided by the developers?

We requested the extra data in early November last year and although RES indicated they would let us know by the end of that month, we have still not received any further notification or the information requested.

You may recall that RES previously denied access to the noise data for more than 3 years. When it was eventually released following our High Court action, the noise data assessment turned out to be significantly flawed. Planning permission for the Den Brook wind farm was subsequently and rightly quashed by a Court of Appeal Consent Order and sent back to PINS for re-determination.

Continuing our endeavours to uphold local democracy and establish a level playing field for the forthcoming Public Inquiry (possibly later this year) requires an enormous amount of voluntary work from core members of the DBJRG. We would welcome any help you feel able to give.

DBJRG have engaged the most experienced professional expertise to ensure our case is assessed and put forward in the best possible way. Whilst enormously thankful for all your ongoing support, please, if you are able, continue to donate whatever you can. Our efforts must continue in order to challenge shortfalls within the developer's assessments and ensure the 9 x 125 meter-high turbines are not unreasonably foisted on our currently tranquil local environment without a full and proper evaluation of the known detrimental impacts.

Thank you for your continued support.

Den Brook Judicial Review Group

What Can You Do?

  • Join Us! Any voluntary work, big or small is very welcome. Anything from leafleting and speaking to local people or fundraising with help. New ideas also welcome. Contact details below.
  • Give Generously!We are a local community group without a lot of funds compared to the enormous resources of RES. It may take months before RES pay the legal costs from the case we have just won and we need to fund professional help now.
  • Write to the Developers! You are free to ask any questions you want, to say whether and/or why you are against the Wind Farm, or ask for information relating to your home. Helen Hall, RES UK & Ireland Ltd, Beaufort Court, Egg Farm Lane, Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, WD4 8LR T: 01923 299267 

Call or email to find out more:

Email: the DBJRG team at: info@denbrookvalley.co.uk
Phone: Mike Hulme 01363 82220