A controversial plan to place wind turbines near the North Cornwall coast will be discussed by a council this week. The proposed 71-metre tall turbines, which would be twice the height of Nelson’s Column, have already prompted strong reaction from the local community.
On Thursday, Cornwall County Council will hold a consultation on the application from Windelectric Management to construct five turbines near Otterham, Camelford.
Some residents are adamant that this would destroy the beauty of this spectacular stretch of land.
Celia Langley, a farmer from Lesnewth near Boscastle, said: “I just love the wild beauty of North Cornwall and I’m very protective of the landscape. These turbines are 71m and they want to put them on an exposed ridge already 240m high – they will destroy the view for miles.”
This is the third application that has been made to build a windfarm in the area. Both previous applications by Powergen were turned down.
The Group Against Windfarm Proliferation (GAWP) is campaigning against the proposed construction and orchestrated the public meeting to marshal support opposing the application.
Alan Goodenough, a member of GAWP, said: “This application is almost identical to the other two before, which were thrown out by the council. It shows a cynical attitude to the opinions of local residents and the council and people here are very, very concerned about it.”
Roger Bonney is the chairman of the Cornwall County Council planning committee which will hold the consultation on Thursday.
He said: “Fuel costs are rising and we live in an uncertain world.
“We have to look at alternative energies but we have to make sure they fit in with the environment.”
But Miss Langley disagrees with the erection of wind turbines as an alternative to traditional energy sources. “It’s all a fallacy,” she said. “If wind turbines were the answer to global warming I would welcome them but they are not.
“No matter how many turbines you have, you must have other sources for when the wind doesn’t blow.”
Windelectric management says that the turbines would generate a total of 4MW of electricity, enough to power about 3,000 homes.
However, campaigners point out that the chosen site is next to the A39 Atlantic Highway, near power cables, and only 100 metres from an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
GAWP members including Brian Sanderson have also raised safety concerns. Mr Sanderson has said there is evidence that blades weighing up to a tonne could separate from the turbines and fly “missile-like” through the air for up to 450 yards.
An investigation was launched by the Health and Safety Executive in January after part of a 37m blade sheared off a turbine at the Cold Northcott windfarm, near Launceston in North Cornwall.
But a Windelectric Management spokesman said this type of incident was “extremely rare” and accused GAWP of scaremongering.
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