Skip to main content

Minutes of the Renewable Energy Generation Committee Meeting held in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall, Bideford, on Wednesday 27 June 2017 at 6.00 pm


South Ward:

Councillor D Brenton
Councillor J Day (Chairman)
Councillor B Wootton

North Ward:

Councillor P Christie

East Ward:

Councillor J McKenzie
Councillor S Robinson


Mr R Coombes (Deputy Town Clerk)
Mr M Ford (Head of Regeneration, TDC)


Councillor Day was proposed by Councillor Christie and seconded by Councillor McKenzie.

RESOLVED: That Councillor Day is appointed as Chairman of the Committee for the coming year.

Vote: For: 4, Against: 0)

(Councillor Day assumed the Chair and thanked the Members for their vote.)


Councillor McKenzie was proposed by Councillor Brenton and seconded by Councillor Day.

RESOLVED: That Councillor McKenzie is appointed as Deputy Chairman of the Committee for the coming year.

Vote: For: 4, Against: 0)


The Chairman introduced Mr Mike Ford and welcomed him to the Meeting.

Proposed by Councillor Day, seconded and

RESOLVED: That Standing Orders are suspended in order to allow Mr Ford to participate throughout the Meeting.

(Vote – For: 4, Against: 0)


The Minutes of the Meeting held on 25 January 2017 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 4, Against: 0)


The Chairman advised that all the Sites within the ACE portfolio had been viewed and that half had undergone economic analysis; of the initial proposals sent most have received positive responses.

The Chairman had circulated a proposal letter in consideration of a community solar installation on the Bideford Pannier Market.

Councillor Brenton confirmed that TDC remained the Landlord and should be consulted. The Deputy Town Clerk reminded members of the Sungift proposal, the then need for planning and listed building approval; the Town Council had expressed their support for a solar panel installation, at the time. (Councillor Christie noted that the Planning Committee had never seen applications for solar panel installations.)

The Chairman spoke in term of the benefits including:
• Cheaper electricity.
• Reduced Environmental impact.
• Community shareholding opportunities that would see monies reinvested in the local economy.

Councillor Christie felt that the figures were quite modest although they would guard against future price increases. He did believe that the saving on CO2 was more important.

The Chairman confirmed that a Public Display Monitor would indicate the savings in CO2 (from installation).

The Chairman requested that the TDC councillor advise on the status of the (Torridge) Swimming Pool. He advised that there were potential savings of £1,000 a year, but correspondence with the Property Department (TDC) officers indicated that a sports / leisure review could potentially lead to changes (to the building) and, therefore, no commitment to an offer.

The Chairman noted that should there be an increase or change to the roof, a safeguard had been written into the installation contract, that ACE would remove the panels for renovation work on one occasion - free of charge.

Mr Ford suggested that with a rising (local) population there will be a demand for more sports pitches / facilities.

Councillor Christie confirmed that while the Swimming Pool was run by “1610” the building was maintained by TDC.

The Chairman suggested that if there was potential to extend the dry sports hall in the next two to three years the Landlords would be unlikely to enjoy a better deal than ACE can currently offer.

Discussion followed upon which Councillor Brenton and Christie agreed to submit a joint Notice of Motion to the TDC Community and Resources Meeting to establish why the ACE offer would not be considered for the Swimming Pool. They believed that there was a large pool of Regeneration funding that could be drawn upon.

Members noted that the TDC Riverbank House has a solar panel installation. South Molton is an example of having a public swimming pool with a solar panel installation.

Councillor Christie indicated that the North Devon Leisure Centre may be worth investigating given the approaching rebuilding of the facility. The Chairman indicated that there had been approaches to the North Devon Council regarding part of their portfolio.

Further discussion considered the potential of other site opportunities. The Chairman stated that it was important to match supply to the demand of maximum power used on a given site.

Proposed by Councillor Day, seconded and

RECOMMENDED: That the Council support the pursuance of a solar panel installation on the Bideford Pannier Market.

(Vote – For: 4, Against: 0)


Members had received correspondence from a member of the public on the need to be providing public charging points for Electric Vehicles in the North Devon and particularly the Torridge area.

The Chairman advised that TDC Councillors Brenton, A T and S G Inch had assigned £3,500 Ward money to exploring EVC opportunities.

Mr Ford stated that a fast charging point (fcp) cost £1,700; however, the installation cost was very expensive. He believed that the fcp would be suited to a site along the Quay where a two to three hour charge in the centre would encourage the occupants / visitors to explore the Town.

Councillor McKenzie observed that Asda had the facility at their supermarket in Barnstaple and wondered if it could not be considered at their Atlantic Village site. The Chairman saw merit, given its proximity to the A39, but believed it was important to debate and establish where best to site future fcps.

Mr Ford advised that a Super Charging Point (scp) cost £19,000 but would provide an 80% fill up over thirty minutes.

The Chairman spoke of funding streams discussing the Central Government Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), super markets and private business. He noted that Solar Panels could be utilised to provide charge through a canopy facility.

Mr Ford explained that he had researched the car park next to Victoria Park with the possibility of utilising two car parking bays; providing electricity to the point though would need to be addressed. Councillor Brenton observed that twenty charging points were sited in a supermarket car park, during a recent visit to Milton Keynes.

Mr Ford advised that Tesla do provide points for free although there are criteria to be satisfied including shopping and accommodation drivers.

He did state that the motor car industry was heavily investing in the technology advising that Tesla would be introducing the Model 3 next year at a cost of £30,000 with a 0 – 60 mph performance of under six seconds and 217 miles per charge.

Councillor Christie suggested that Mr Ford applies for New Homes Bonus funding; discussion followed on the levels of the Bonus.

The Chairman noted that there were lots of gaps where points were not available on the highways. He advised that a joint Council bid could be made for OLEV funding and saw merit in a joint North Devon and Torridge approach including marketing and signage.

Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded and

RECOMMENDED: That Mr Ford submits a bid for £30,000 from the New Homes Bonus to be used, with the £3,500 Councillors Brenton and Inchs Ward allocation. The Committee support TDC in their pursuit of EVC.

(Vote – For: 4, Against: 0)


Proposed by Councillor J Day, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Meeting return to Standing Orders.

(Vote – For: 4, Against: 0)

The Chairman, having established that there was no further business to discuss, thanked the Members for their attendance and concluded the Meeting at 7.05 pm.

© Bideford Town Council 2015 Gingerweb Ltd site design and SEO In North Devon