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Leading countryside organisations unite to fight giant South Downs turbine

A giant wind turbine proposed by Glyndebourne Productions Ltd on the Sussex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is being resisted by four of the leading national and regional countryside organisations.

The Council for National Parks (CNP), the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), the Ramblers’ Association (RA) and the South Downs Society (SDS) have formed a coalition because they believe that the 230 ft turbine will destroy the views of the precious landscape of the eastern part of the South Downs.

All the organisations are in favour of appropriate renewable energy, but argue that great thought must be given to the type and size of renewable energy developed, particularly in special landscapes such as AONB’s and National Parks.

The South Downs has been designated as the UK’s 15th National Park, with Government confirmation expected later this year [5]. Although domestic wind turbines have been built in many National Parks at a typical size of 40-50 ft, a massive, industrial-scale turbine such as the one proposed for the South Downs would be unprecedented.

It would be visible over hundreds of square miles and would dominate the landscape from classic viewpoints on the South Downs, including from the Wilmington Long Man, Firle Beacon, Beddingham Hill, Swanborough Hill, Mount Harry and Black Cap.

Roy Haycock, Chairman of CPRE Sussex, said:

“˜CPRE Sussex believes the South Downs are a priceless part of the beauty, tranquillity and heritage of England. It should not be squandered in return for an unreliable and severely limited supply of “green” energy when more efficient alternatives and locations are available.’

Chris Smith of the Ramblers’ Association Sussex said:

“˜The unique landscape of the South Downs is enjoyed by thousands of people on a weekly basis. The destructive impact of this proposed turbine would spoil the very attributes so valued by residents and visitors alike. There are other alternatives which would be more appropriate, including buying electricity from environmentally sound fuel suppliers.’

Jacquetta Fewster from the South Downs Society concluded:

“˜Climate change is a serious problem. It needs to be tackled through measures such as reduced energy consumption and the development of a mix of renewable energy technologies. Wind turbines have their place, but we should be looking for more suitable locations other than our remaining wild places to site industrial-scale infrastructure such as this.’

Campaign to Protect Rural England

cpre.org.uk

14 May 2007