A campaign is mounting against plans for two wind farms in North Cornwall where residents say their surroundings have become a “dumping ground” for renewable energy projects.
Green energy company Ecotricity wants to build four turbines to generate enough energy to power 9,000 homes, which is twice as much as Delabole windfarm.
However, campaigners against the scheme are gathering support after a meeting last week when 200 people met at Clease Hall in Camelford to voice their opposition to plans for the two new wind farms.
Ecotricity, the world’s first green energy company, has applied for permission to construct four turbines on land at Hendraburnick.
On a website dedicated to the plans, the company says: “The Hendraburnick Wind Park Turbines will be 100m in height to the blade tip.”
At another site in the Davidstow area, for which an application has yet to be submitted, it is understood that up to 20 turbines could be installed, standing up to 126m high.
Roy Holland, elected chairman of the campaigners, said the amount of people at the meeting showed how residents in the area were worried about the proposed wind farms.
He said: “We already have an abundance of them in the area.
“We need to protect and preserve the area as the turbines will cause many problems.”
Wildlife campaigners have highlighted what they say would be a damaging impact on the habitats of birds and animals.
Arthur Boyt, who has joined the campaign committee and who spoke at the meeting as a spokesman for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), said: “Starling clouds will be threatened by the turbines, as will many other breeds of bird that fly over the proposed site.
“What is most worrying is that the area attracts many bird watchers, who come to see such a wide variety of species that is rich around this area. Driving these people away by putting turbines in is not an option.”
The RSPB is said to have advised Ecotricity to build the wind farm in another area.
Mr Holland said: “We are not against renewable energy – far from it – but we are fed up of being a dumping ground for these wind farms.”
An Ecotricity spokesman has said the company had a policy of only installing turbines where they made good neighbours.
Developers behind Britain’s oldest wind farm at Delabole, have said the site needs vast changes to efficiently update renewable energy in North Cornwall.
Built between 1989 and 1991, the 10,400kw turbines at the site have become dated and are now in need of upgrading.
Two different plans have been outlined which, if planning consent is granted, would replace the existing turbines and be operational within three years.
24 August 2007
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