Rex sees red at the cost of going green

AN ECO-FRIENDLY pensioner who spent all his savings on a wind turbine cannot put it up because of the cost of obtaining planning permission

AN ECO-FRIENDLY pensioner who spent all his savings on a wind turbine cannot put it up because of the cost of obtaining planning permission.Rex Pearce just wanted to do his bit for the planet when he emptied his savings account to buy a David Cameron-style wind turbine for his home in Bedford Road, Weston.But the 74-year-old was utterly confounded when he was told that despite a whirlwind of Government publicity this week urging the people of Britain to 'go green', he would need to shell out £100 on submitting a planning application before he is allowed to put it up.Mr Pearce has already spent all he can on the environmental venture and does not have another £100 to spare. If he puts it up without planning permission, North Somerset Council could take it down but Mr Pearce says he is determined to fit the £1,498 turbine his house.He says he does not understand why there is so much expensive red tape in the way of something the Government wants him to do.The council says because the turbine would alter his property, Government law requires him to obtain planning permission.The turbine's blades measure 1.75m in diameter, generates electricity at 230 volts and feeds un-needed power into the National Grid. Mr Pearce bought his turbine from B&Q.He said: "This is something the council and the Government should be getting people to do, not stop."This is my savings I have spent and I just want to do my bit. In the future all homes will be fitted with turbines and we should be getting on with it."I'm just going to put it up and I'm not going take it down on the council's say-so. It'll have to get through me first."A North Somerset Council spokesman said: "The manufacturer states the purchaser should contact the local authority to see whether planning permission is required."In this case planning permission is required as it is an addition or alteration to a property and exceeds the height of the roof."We have to charge a fee for processing the application and this is laid down by central government under the Town and Country Planning Regulations 2005.

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