Opposition is already growing to a power generating windfarm scheme near Tiverton – even though it has not yet reached feasibility study stage. Protests have been received at Mid Devon District Council about the plan by London energy firm Coronation Power to site testing gear on Bickham Moor, close to Rackenford.
Despite the opposition, the council’s planning department is recommending councillors should allow siting of the equipment when they discuss it next Wednesday
Coronation Power wants to put anemometer equipment, which measures wind speed, at the site for 18 months.
If the equipment showed winds were strong and sustained enough, the company could press ahead with a scheme for four, 410ft high turbines. Campaigners say a windfarm at the site, close to the A361 North Devon link road, would spoil the rural landscape. Already 167 letters of objection have been received against the scheme.
One opponent is the Two Moors Campaign, which is against any windfarms being built on Exmoor and Dartmoor.
Chairman Ashley Gray said: “The industrialisation of Bickham Moor with vast, ineffective turbines could not come at a worse time.”
In considering their recommendation, planning officers say they are following national policy objectives for renewable energy.
The anemometer would be 60ft tall. At 410ft, any turbines that followed would be two-and-a-half times the height of Nelson’s Column and 100ft taller than Big Ben.
They would have a potential capacity of 12 megawatts, enough electricity for 6,700 homes.
Coronation Power has promised extensive public consultation.
Elsewhere in the county, a date for a public inquiry is due to be set for an application by Renewable Energy Systems to erect nine turbines at the Den Brook Valley near Bow.
Results are also due soon into a public inquiry which was held in June into West Coast Energy’s plans for three wind turbines at Yelland Farm, near Okehampton.
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