Dear Members

On behalf of myself and all my fellow trustees, may I wish you a Happy Easter and, whatever you may be doing over this holiday period, I hope you have an enjoyable time.

I am pleased to announce that Julie Dowton has agreed to come and give us a talk on Bodmin Moor. Julie is the Secretary of the Bodmin Moor Interim Commons Council which is the big new initiative going on at the moment regarding the future of the Moor. She is also Secretary of the Association of Bodmin Moor Commons Landowners. Her talk will encompass everything to do with the Moor including how she fell in love with Bodmin Moor and the reasons why she has spent the past 25 years working with the commoners and landowners to protect the commons, preserve traditional upland farming and improve the welfare of the animals who graze there - in fact anything to do with the management of the Moor, its past and its future.

I do hope that you will be there to support Julie and, as always, to enjoy the Sowerby's excellent hospitality.

Please complete the attached invitation reply slip and return it to Nicola together with your cheque as soon as possible, but before Friday 9th May at the latest.

The above date has been agreed with the Met Office. The outline plan is for the visit to start at 11.00 am and finish at 12.30 pm, followed by a "pay as you go" lunch in the Met Office restaurant. A coach will be booked with a suggested pick-up point somewhere in Bodmin and, depending on the numbers going and capacity of coach required, the estimated cost should be between £12.00/£15.00 per person.

If you would definitely like to go on this trip, please confirm on the attached invitation (whether or not you will be attending at Coombeshead) and return it to Nicola, so that we know what size coach to book.

The list of applications where the Society has made objections and/or appeals waiting for decisions, is on our website. It has not greatly changed since the celebrated end of the Davidstow wind farm saga.

The Secretary of State has amended the guidance for planners for wind and solar constructions and stated in his covering letter:

In publishing the guidance, we have been quite clear that the need for renewable energy does not automatically override environmental protections and the planning concerns of local communities. We have also introduced a new requirement for compulsory pre-application consultation with local communities for more significant onshore wind applications - that is, of more than two turbines or where the hub height of any turbine exceeds 15 metres. This requirement took effect in December. We will shortly be publishing new planning guidance to help secure the intended improvements in how communities are engaged. This is available on the Department’s planning practice guidance website at:

It is becoming clear that some politicians at last realise that structures which damage our environment are unpopular and lose votes. However, it remains that there still must be good ‘material planning reasons’ for a successful objection.

Cornwall Council’s Local Plan is still being processed and inspected and few neighbourhood plans are as yet in draft – to the layman it appears that there is an enormous quagmire of bureaucracy and red tape holding this up. Until these are available there remain no clear rules for planning at local level.

The Society has noted but taken no action on the Sainsbury's supermarket in Wadebridge, (ground work for this has now started) nor on the proposed housing nearby at Bodieve.

I look forward to welcoming you to our meeting on 13th May.

Richard Vyvyan-Robinson