Residents of a village in North Cornwall are gearing themselves up to fight a proposal for up to six giant wind turbines which would be visible for miles.
They have discovered that the renewable energy company Ecotricity has contacted North Cornwall District Council for a scoping opinion about siting turbines on land between Trebell Green and Respberry Cross, near Lanivet, just outside Bodmin.
An Ecotricity spokesman said: “The request for a scoping opinion is the first stage in assessing the development potential of any site.
“It will detail the views of bodies such as the Ministry of Defence and English Nature, basically letting us know what we should look at if we go ahead with a planning application.”
While the spokesman was keen to stress that a request for a scoping opinion did not mean any planning application would follow, people living in and around Lanivet are not taking any chances and have already formed an action group to fight the plan.
Villagers say that if the company’s turbines are the 100m-high state-of-the-art turbines, similar to the ones proposed by Ecotricity for the Hendraburnick site on Bodmin Moor, then they would be visible for up to 40 miles and would dominate the skyline.
This is Ecotricity’s second foray into Cornwall. The company’s proposal for four turbines at Hendraburnick has enraged moorland residents who say it will be a blot on the landscape in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and have vowed to fight it, saying North Cornwall already has more than its fair share of wind farms.
The coordinator for the group, Helen Watson, said: “We were just asking people within 500m of the proposed site for their support at the meeting and 32 residents attended and were 100 per cent against having the turbines here.
“But we are now getting ready to fight and many people have been in touch offering support.
“Wind farms are not an efficient way of generating power and these wind farms, which get incentives to set up, are a drain on the taxpayer’s purse.
“They are also not environmentally friendly – they are built on huge concrete blocks which give off CO2 emissions.
“And if these turbines go ahead here, they will be 200ft taller than Helman Tor. This is a lovely little hamlet and it will be ruined. But the turbines will also ruin the landscape for everyone for miles.”
A company spokesman said: “Ecotricity has a policy of only installing wind turbines where they will make good neighbours.
“This means ensuring there will be no problems experienced by local people and local wildlife.
“We take responsibility for all of our projects from beginning to end, managing site selection, planning, construction, lifelong maintenance and decommissioning 30 years later.
“Our decisions are driven by good practice and the need for wind energy to be sustainable in all senses of the word.”
8 November 2007
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