A continuing battle in the northernmost parish of Cornwall will reach a new stage on Thursday. The question of wind turbine installation always prompts fierce debate in the county – and the case in Morwenstow has been raging for two years.
While protesters claim to have been disenfranchised, those in favour of new turbines claim they are a necessity for the future of Cornwall.
North Cornwall District Council’s planning committee will meet tomorrow to consider the application by West Coast Energy to build three turbines, which will each be 81m high – as high as a 20-storey building.
John Moxey, chairman of Morwenstow Against Turbines (MAT), said: “We identified numerous errors, omissions and misrepresentations without finding a single benefit to this community when we first saw the application in December 2004.
“Among our concerns are significant visual intrusion into this coastal landscape and damage to protected species of wildlife, in particular rare bats and red and amber listed birds.”
The protesters claim to have lost the means to campaign through democratic methods as the councillor who represents their ward on the district council, Ken Boundy, owns some of the affected land and can therefore not say anything about the planning decision under the rules concerning conflicts of interest.
But the protesters claim that the voice of the people is firmly with them.
Mr Moxey said: “Morwenstow Parish Council and Cornwall County Council have both recommended refusal of the application and, at a meeting of over 200 residents, 184 voted to have the application rejected.”
Mr Moxey feels this spectacular area of coastline will lose its natural beauty if developments continue.
However, sustainable energy enthusiasts say that wind turbines are an essential part of the future of Cornwall.
Tim German, director of the Cornwall Sustainable Energy Partnership, said: “If we continue to reject the majority of wind turbine applications then future generations will blame us for our lack of foresight.”
Mr German claims that the views of those opposed to windfarms are made far more public than those in favour.
By Miles Davis
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