The owner of one of Devon’s most historic manor houses says he faces “ruin” if plans to build two giant wind turbines as part of a controversial new housing development get the go-ahead.
Paul Bassett, who lives at Higher Hareston Manor House, near Brixton, South Devon, is horrified after discovering two wind turbines, which will measure up to 120m in height, are to be built just 1km from his home to fuel the new town of Sherford.
A public inquiry was held earlier this year into the plans to create the new town to the east of Plymouth. Independent planning inspector Nigel Payne looked at the proposals, which will see more than 5,500 new homes built between 2009 and 2021.
If Mr Payne is not satisfied with the findings, which are expected to be published next month, South Hams District Council and Plymouth City Council, who have drawn up the scheme, will have to go back to the drawing board. The scheme is proposed for farmland on the eastern outskirts of Plymouth, bordered by the A38, and between the suburbs of Plympton and Plymstock.
But Mr Bassett said the proposed plans for two wind turbines had completely by-passed him. He said: “No one in this area seems to know anything about them because nobody had made the effort to contact us.
“The developers have chosen this site because they think we are the only people who can protest – and we will.
“I am not against the plans for the town but I have got to stop these turbines because my family and I could face being ruined by this intrusion. ”
Hareston Manor House is recorded in the Domesday book and during the late 1970s won an award from the Historic Buildings Council.
Mr Bassett said: “The council has never bothered to answer our e-mails and has ignored us entirely.
“This house is an historic treasure and I’m not prepared to put that at risk just because of these turbines because I know there are other ways of getting cheaper power.”
Rebecca Sturge, of developer Red Tree, said: “The proposals for two new community wind turbines are a direct response to the South Hams District Council Area Action Plan.
“Detailed research by consultants shows that predicted noise from the turbines, even operating under severe wind speeds, does not exceed official guidelines.
“English Heritage has considered the possible impact on the nearby listed building and has made no objections to the proposals.”
7 April 2007
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