An environmental watchdog has added its voice to the opposition to plans to build nine massive wind turbines on the edge of Exmoor.The Devon branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) said it would “forcefully object” to an application by npower renewables to build the 360ft tall turbines at Batsworthy Cross between South Molton and Tiverton. Bob Barfoot, chairman of the CPRE in North Devon, said the proposal went against the organisation’s national policy for onshore wind turbines.
“Although CPRE believes that climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions is a major threat to the quality and character of England’s countryside, decisions on the scale and location of wind power generation should avoid damaging valued rural landscapes. CPRE Devon has decided that the development would have an adverse visual impact on Exmoor National Park, its wider setting, and the neighbouring moors, which far outweigh any benefit that may be gained in greenhouse gas emissions. CPRE was also concerned about the effect on the quality of life of those living and working in the area.”
Simon Holt, npower renewables’ project manager for the Batsworthy Cross plan, said: “We are confident that we have submitted a thorough environmental statement that addresses all of the environmental issues at the site and that Batsworthy Cross is an ideal site for a wind farm. Within 15 years, a third of our current conventional electricity generation is to be decommissioned. The windfarm at Batsworthy Cross could power the equivalent of 8,000 homes with clean electricity every year.”