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Government backs Taunton 'garden village' plan

Taunton is among 14 areas to have bids backed by the Government Credit: ITV News West Country

Taunton is among 14 areas across the country to get government backing for plans to build thousands of new homes set in so-called garden villages. Today ministers announced that Taunton Deane Borough Council would be given £350,000 to cover planning costs towards building new homes on sites already earmarked for development.

Plans are already in the pipeline to build houses at Monkton Heathfield, Comeytrowe, Trull and Staplegrove. The garden village scheme would link green space to housing estates and work areas through country parks, community woodland and recreation areas.

“Taunton already benefits from many of the characteristics of a Garden Town – we want to strike that balance between retaining our character and wonderful environment to our growth aspirations that will make our county town more prosperous in future."

– Cllr Roger Habgood, Taunton Deane Borough Council

The garden village scheme announced by the government will also take in developments already planned at West Carclaze in Cornwall and at Culm in mid Devon.

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UK's first wind farm marks 25th birthday

Three billion boiled kettles later and the UK's first commercial wind farm is celebrating a quarter of a century of generating renewable power.

It is 25 years since turbines were first switched on - on December 21 1991 - at Delabole Wind Farm on the north Cornwall coast, generating power for 2,700 homes a year.

Since then, the UK wind industry has grown from Delabole's 10 turbines to more than 1,000 commercial-scale onshore and offshore projects that generate enough electricity to power 9.5 million homes a year.

The turbines are a landmark in the Cornish countryside Credit: ITV West Country
6,200
homes which are currently powered by Delabole
3.4
billion kettles could have been boiled by the wind farm's power since it opened
40
million Christmas turkeys could have been cooked by the wind farm's power since it opened

This is an incredible achievement for the renewable industry - and a big moment for Delabole.

Since the turbines started turning, renewable technologies have come a long way, with wind power generating a record-breaking 12% of the UK's electricity in 2015.

The success of the wind farm has largely been down to the support of the local community who are the real custodians of this site.

It's thanks to them and their belief in the project, that has helped make Delabole the perfect model for further wind power developments here in the UK.

– Juliet Davenport, Chief Executive Good Energy
Delabole wind turbine Credit: ITV West Country

Across the UK, using wind has avoided burning more than 106 million tonnes of coal over the past 25 years, industry body RenewableUK said - with 58 million tonnes displaced from 2013 to 2015 as wind power boomed.

Wind power is now a mainstream power source in Britain, outperforming and replacing old-fashioned coal.

It's a crucial part of our new energy system, which is designed to deliver the energy the country needs in the smartest way possible.

– Emma Pinchbeck, Executive Director Renewable UK
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