An eleven-turbine windfarm is the latest to be proposed for the Westcountry. The 22 megawatt Three Moors wind farm, which would be created by the renewable energy company Airtricity, would produce sufficient electricity to power 12,300 homes.
The 11 turbines would be on Paul’s, Wester Bullaford and Luckett moors near Knowstone in North Devon.
But campaigners say the scheme would be a blot on the landscape which would not generate sufficient power to justify the disruption to the countryside.
The Dublin-based company behind the scheme has defended the proposals, saying it would help the environment by reducing the annual output of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, which is responsible for the depletion of the ozone layer, by 67,227 tonnes.
Gerry Burke, Airtricity development manager for England and Wales, said: “We are confident that the Three Moors site could play a key role in the development of renewable energy in Devon. The site lies within one of the areas that have been identified by Devon County Council as suitable locations for onshore wind developments. Airtricity has undertaken a comprehensive environmental assessment of the site. The company is also undertaking a thorough consultation process with the community and environmental bodies in terms of the development of the proposal.”
Campaigners argue that windfarms are one of the least effective green forms of power generation, arguing that they do not completely eliminate the need for fossil fuelled power stations.
Peter Farmery, of West Hinkley Action Group, said: “Windfarms only work when there is wind and therefore cannot completely replace fossil fuelled power stations. Offshore projects make far more sense. Tidal is particularly good as there is always a current to drive the turbine.
“What windfarms do to help the reduction of global warming is minimal.”
The site lies between the B3227 and A361, north of Knowstone and 17 miles south east of Barnstaple.
It is the latest to be put suggested for the area surrounding the small village. The others being proposed are at Batsworthy Cross. Two Moors which would sit just north of Knowstone; and in Mid Devon there are proposals for another windfarm at Bickham Moor.
Bob Barfoot, who is a resident of East Knowstone and the chairman of the North Devon office of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: “The CPRE is very concerned about the amount of windfarms being proposed for this area. This is a small community and one that would find its landscape seriously affected by these turbines.”
A series of public exhibits will be held through September on Tuesday, September 4, 2pm to 8pm, at Knowstone Village Hall, Knowstone, and Wednesday, September 5, 2pm to 8pm at
Bishop’s Nympton Village Hall, Bishop’s Nympton.
A spokesman for Airtricity said: “Windfarms are part of the fight against climate change. There are a number of applications for windfarms, this latest is on designated land for such a project.
“It will be the decision of the planning authority as to whether it is given the go-ahead. But everyone is concerned about climate change and windfarms are part of that battle.”
By Peter Harrison
30 August 2007
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