Monthly Archives: September 2013

Shops we love – Braunton News

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Simon Anderson, inventor of three-fin Thruster, visits Tiki in Braunton!

20130916-162513.jpgGreat to meet Australian shaper and surfer Simon Anderson in Braunton on Saturday. Simon is well-known for having invented the three-fin Thruster which revolutionised the sport of surfing as we know it. He was here visiting the Tiki Surf Shop and is pictured in the shop with his new board along with Tiki’s founders Tim Heyland and Dave Aldrich-Smith. He followed this the next day by a visit to Braunton’s Museum of British Surfing.

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World record dog-sitting attempt to be held at Saunton on 22 September!

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Climber Leo Houlding’s lecture tour 2013: From Amazon to Antarctica Lecture Tour 2013

Top UK climber and adventurer Leo Houlding is doing a lecture tour this yearcalled Amazon to Antarctica. From the very depths of the Venezuelan Amazon to a mile-high cliff in Antarctica this promises to be as breath-taking as ever. You can read more about Leo and the Tour at his website. See below for a video clip on his incredible ascent of El Capitan.

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Article on the Atlantic Array by Peter Heaton-Jones, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for North Devon

The following is an article on the Atlantic Array by Peter Heaton-Jones, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for North Devon provided for AboutBraunton.com.

I’m going to provide that most rare commodity: a straight answer from a politician.   I oppose the Atlantic Array.  It is the wrong plan in the wrong place.  The potential risks far outweigh the supposed benefits.  I hope it does not go ahead.

I cannot be clearer than that.  Anyone holding or seeking public office in North Devon should be equally clear.  Fence-sitting is not an option.

The risks are enormous.

Environmentally, the Array could cause immense damage to the delicate marine ecosystem.  It will scar an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and blight forever Lundy Island, one of the country’s most precious natural habitats.

Economically, its effect on North Devon’s vital tourist industry could be devastating.  Even if just one in ten tourists stopped coming to our coastline, it would cost our economy £30million a year.  That risk is far greater than any supposed economic benefit.  There is no guarantee that North Devon will get a single new job.

Locally, the construction could cause chaos.  The pile driving will  be a massive disturbance.  The cables to bring the power ashore will cut a swathe through many communities who will derive no benefit whatsoever.

And of course, it will change the landscape and seascape of North Devon forever.  Some people say you won’t see it that clearly.  Really?  Each of the 240 turbines will be taller than the Post Office Tower, and the Array will cover 77 square miles – that’s roughly the size of Bristol.

Look back at what I’ve written.  Yes, I’ve used the word ‘could’ quite a lot.   Supporters of the Atlantic Array say that’s a weakness in the opposition’s argument.   But in fact that’s the strength.  The point is, nobody knows for sure what the impact of the Atlantic Array will be.  On that basis alone, it cannot be allowed to go ahead.  To repeat, the potential risks far outweigh the supposed benefits.

Let me be absolutely clear:  I support renewable energy.  It must form part of the mix of the UK’s power generation in the 21st century.  But the Atlantic Array is the wrong plan in the wrong place and I will continue to oppose it.  That will be my consistent message.

It is regrettable that others who hold or seek public office in North Devon cannot give such a straight answer.

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Article by Sir Nick Harvey MP on the Atlantic Array for the North Devon Journal

The following is an article by Sir Nick Harvey MP which was originally written for the North Devon Journal. It is published with the kind permission of Sir Nick Harvey MP.

ON OUR DOOR STEP BUT TO WHAT BENEFIT?

There has been grandstanding in the media in recent weeks about the proposed Atlantic Array wind farm. Rightly my mail bag is regularly filled by anxious constituents worried that the Planning Inspectorate may override people’s concerns to the detriment of North Devon’s future. The potential environmental and visual issues are now well rehearsed – what is not so clear is the potential level of economic damage or indeed benefit such a large-scale and long-term project could have for us.

I have long let my position be known and have regularly lobbied relevant ministers; in particular I was and still am fully supportive of North Devon and Torridge District Councils’ very real environmental concerns which were placed before the developer RWE.

While RWE has been at pains to mitigate ‘seascape, visual effects and underwater disturbances from pilling…’ I have yet to be convinced. If greenlighted the Array would be located 15.5 km from the north Devon coast, approximately 22 km from the south Wales coast and approximately 13.5 km from Lundy Island at the closest points. The offshore array site occupies an area of 200 km2. While a long way out this is still a massive area.

Torridge stands to be the most affected, offshore cables would come ashore south of Westward Ho! at Cornborough Range, from where onshore cables, buried underground, would connect to the substation at Alverdiscott. This is why Torridge has decided not to stand shoulder to shoulder with North Devon in its response to the Atlantic Array planning application. While disappointing this is perhaps understandable.

In fact, in recent weeks I have been dismayed to learn there seems to be no community benefits on offer for us. RWE states 11.5 per cent of its regional spend is in Devon yet what does this mean in real terms? A community fund of £1m (quite frankly a drop in the proverbial ocean for such a massive project) is on offer during the onshore construction phase, which is planned for 2016 if greenlighted – this is earmarked for parishes in Torridge, not North Devon: So clearly no tangible benefits irrespective of the potential impact.

Talk of a community investment package linked to the operational phase of any wind farm remains suitably vague as do what geographical areas could benefit. Likewise any talk of Ilfracombe benefiting as a maritime maintenance hub may come unstuck if Wales is seen as better proposition. I am now going to tackle the chief executive of RWE demanding to know why there is such a notable discrepancy in how it is treating Torridge and North Devon.

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Sir Nick Harvey MP writes for AboutBraunton.com on the Atlantic Array

The following is an article provided by Sir Nick Harvey MP for AboutBraunton.com.

ATLANTIC ARRAY

I do share people’s concerns about the impact the Atlantic Array could have on North Devon’s beautiful landscape, wildlife and vital tourist industry. Last autumn in support of such sentiments I passed a petition highlighting the strength of opposition to this project to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. I also canvassed individuals, various opposition groups such as The Atlantic Disarray and the officials at North Devon Council. I fully supported the latter’s reservations which were relayed to RWE.

For more information see the RWE website:

http://www.rwe.com/web/cms/en/354738/rwe-innogy/sites/wind-offshore/developing-sites/atlantic-array/

A planning application by the developer Channel Energy Ltd acting on behalf of RWE was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate on 14 June. The Inspectorate decided on 12 July to accept the application, while a final decision on the overall plan will take at least a year.

The Planning Inspectorate’s website is available at:

http://infrastructure.planningportal.gov.uk/projects/south-west/atlantic-array-wind-farm/

You can register to put your views on the Atlantic Array and it is vital that people get involved, so please note the deadline for registration is 16 September. Advice notices on how to get involved in the process for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects are available at:

http://infrastructure.planningportal.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Advice-note-8-3v4.pdf

The postal address for the inspectorate is:

The Planning Inspectorate
Room 3/13
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Temple Quay
Bristol BS1 6PN

I continue to monitor this application closely as it develops with the Planning Inspectorate and I am due to be briefed by the Atlantic Disarray group again. In the meantime people may wish to contact Councillor Geoff Fowler, who is Chairman of the Atlantic Array Steering Group at North Devon Council.

Nick Harvey

MP for North Devon

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39 year old back flip from North Devon’s James Stentiford!

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Charity Night in Croyde on 14th September

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Church and Community Exhibition at St Brannock’s Church 18-20 Sept

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Pet Service at St Brannock’s Church on 29 Sept!

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