What a sad day for North Devon when Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks announced the approval of the Fullabrook Down wind turbine despite overwhelming local disapproval. What a disgrace!
I have just returned from a magical holiday touring the mountains and sierras of southern Spain, with breathtaking scenery wherever one looked – until the last three days, when we dropped down behind Gibraltar and Tarifa.
Then, to our astonishment, every hillside and mountain range for 40 miles or so was covered with wind turbines. What a scar on the landscape!
The sad thing was, that besides their complete ugliness and ruination of the mountainsides, 90 per cent weren’t even going round.
There was no escaping them, and to take a photograph, apart from standing on the beach and pointing the camera out to sea, they intruded on all the scenery.
I lived for 25 years at Lynton on the North Walk, often return there, and have taken a great interest in the tidal turbine anchored off Countisbury.
What a contrast to the ugly wind turbines. In all the conversations with locals there, I have never heard a single voice of dissent.
The most encouraging thing is that unlike its offensive counterpart, it is totally efficient, with tide tables giving a predictability that will never fail.
Unfortunately wind power has stolen a march on tidal power, which is still in its infancy.
Yet with a little patience we will get there, and not leave frightful scarring on our landscape.
Another personal idea is for a succession of three dams and reservoirs down the Bray Valley, each with its own water generator, which would give us a hundredfold more reliable electricity and solve for all time our water supplies for Devon.
Instead of being a blot on our landscape, it would be an enhancement for all to enjoy.
Will it all end at Fullabrook? Another application has been launched for Bideford, and similar schemes are in the pipeline.
Should they all get the green light, I cannot see people queuing up to get off the M5 and coming along our A361 North Devon Link Road to view these towering monstrosities, probably standing obsolete most of the time.
27 November 2007
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