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Residents unite against turbines

Protesters from three Torridge villages have joined forces to launch a campaign group to fight plans for another wind farm.Residents of Bradworthy, Sutcombe and Putford, who are battling proposals to site up to six turbines at Wheelers Cross, have formed POWCT – Parishes Opposed to the Wheelers Cross Turbines.

The new turbines, if approved, will be positioned one mile east of Bradworthy – home to North Devon’s first wind farm – and will impact on all the surrounding communities.

London wind energy company Coronation Power is behind the plans.

POWCT held its first meeting on Friday, which was supported by members of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, the Realistic Energy Forum, and MAT – Morwenstow Against Turbines – which is also fighting plans for a wind farm just over the border in North Cornwall.

A POWCT spokesman said the group was “delighted” with the turn-out.

He said: “We would like to thank everyone for attending. The group is gaining support at great speed with offers of help for the campaign coming in all the time.”

Although the proposed 165-acre site borders the parishes of Bradworthy, Sutcombe and Putford, it has wider implications for other communities in Devon and Cornwall.

POWCT members said they were campaigning to preserve and protect the community, habitat and landscape, and ultimately wanted to prevent any planning application.

The group is in the process of launching a website regarding the campaign.

The spokesman said: “We welcome all support, whether it is local, regional or national.”

Coronation Power installed a temporary monitoring mast to assess the suitability of the site, and following a consultation and feasibility study, reduced the height of the turbines from its original proposal of 125m to 75m.

A statement on the company website said: “Coronation is undertaking technical and environmental studies to evaluate the site and its potential impact on the local environment and so has not yet submitted a planning application to Torridge District Council.”

Torridge and West Devon MP Geoffrey Cox said he had consistently resisted large scale wind turbine developments in areas which he felt were dependent on the tranquillity and beauty of the landscape to attract tourists.

By Kathryn Fell

Western Morning News

6 September 2007