A DECISION is due on a controversial application to build a geothermal power plant near Wendron.

Simon Allen of Wardell Armstrong LLP on behalf of Geothermal Engineering Ltd has applied for the development of a geothermal power plant including site preparation, the drilling of two deep geothermal wells, resource testing, construction of a binary cycle power station and the subsequent operation of the station.

The determination deadline for the application is this Monday, January 17, although it is not yet listed on an agenda for the West Sub Area Planning Committee. This is next due to meet in February, with an agenda published a week before. 

But the application to build the plant in an open field around 2.5 hectares in size next to Manhay Farm in Wendron has divided residents.

Over 80 comments have been made on Cornwall Council's planning portal, but the man whose farm backs onto the site says he is in favour of the scheme.

In an open letter seen by the Packet Tim Fern laid out his reasons why he supports geothermal drilling in the village, saying the project has given him hope for the future.

"Like many residents I was alarmed when the planning application for a 'power station' in our village first appeared. Having looked carefully at the application we have decided to fully support it," he said.

"The site is 500m away from my house so we will definitely see and hear the construction.

"Like many people in the village, and across Cornwall, we try to do everything we reasonably can to address climate change whilst still living our lives. We’re not campaigners or activists, we watch the news and see how urgent the climate crisis is. We still have diesel cars and occasionally fly on holiday."

He says while in the village recycles meticulously and invested in green technologies, atmospheric CO2 level continues to rise.

"Whilst they’re surely not bad things to do, it’s clear that policy is NOT sufficient to address climate change. We simply must decarbonise the entire electricity supply.

"It has given us hope for the future and we are happy to put up with some months of temporary disruption from the construction process."

However not everyone agrees with Mr Fern's point of view with many of the 80 comments the Cornwall Council planning portal opposed to the development proposal.


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Typical of the many comments was Mr Ian Somerville who said the location was totally unsuitable

"I strongly object to this application," he said. "It's location is totally unsuitable and does not conform the all the correct criteria.

I have read the comments on this forum and also spoken to various neighbours, I also attended the Parish Council meeting, and agree with everyone's reasons to object.

"Those for the development do have some good points, however for the right area, it's not on their doorstep so would not directly effect them.

"Our property (home) is in close proximity to the proposed development, I and my partner look after my 87-year-old mother who is disabled, with several health issues and wheelchair bound, she obviously spends a lot of time at home, the traffic, constant drilling, noise and environmental impact on the area, etc from this, would certainly have an detrimental effect on her quality of life , as it will ours and our immediate neighbours."

You can read Mr Fern's full letter here