150 people packed into Okehampton’s Charter Hall, for CPRE Devon’s seminar on Friday 19th September with special guest speaker, Mel Stride MP. Dr Philip Bratby, our renewable energy spokesman was the first speaker, and he outlined the technology behind wind and solar power; Bob Barfoot, our North Devon Chairman, explained the planning process. Mel Stride MP spoke about localism and the importance of neighbourhood plans and responded to robust questioning from the floor. Bob Barfoot said: ‘we are very grateful to Mel Stride that he was able to join us. Renewable energy applications are still of great concern to local people who feel that their voice is not heard by those who make the ultimate decisions. But new house building in the countryside and the scale of proposals also raised questions as our local authorities prepare their local plans’.