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'Dismay' at wind farm plans  

Plans for two separate wind farms visible from Exmoor have come up against another hurdle.

Campaign group Open Spaces Society has launched objections to the projects, stating they would have a negative impact on the feel of the moor.

The two projects are the Three Moors scheme at Knowstone, North Devon, where the company Airtricity Developments hopes to erect nine turbines, and Bickham Moor, near Oakford, Mid Devon, where Coronation Power want to erect four.

Kate Ashbrook, Open Spaces Society’s general secretary said: “We are dismayed that the wind-energy companies keep applying to erect turbines in this part of North Devon. There are already two outstanding applications nearby, at Batsworthy Cross and Cross Moor.”

She said the turbines would be visible from the southern hills of Exmoor.

She said: “This tranquil, unspoilt area of north Devon cannot accommodate such an intrusion. Its intimate character will be destroyed. Moreover, this development is bound to have an adverse effect on the tourist industry, on which the area depends.”

On Tuesday the Exmoor National Park Authority voted to oppose both projects, because of the impact on the views into and out of the area.

Now the park authority is urging the planning authorities to consider all of the wind farm applications when looking at any of the applications.

A spokesman for the authority said: “Currently, each application is considered as a separate application without any consideration for the other wind farms proposed for the area. There are a number of applications which together would account for 24 wind turbines close to the Exmoor boundary.”

The applications for the wind farms to be erected in the area close to the moorland have come up against staunch opposition from various campaign groups including the Two Moors Campaign.

Caroline Harvey, campaign secretary, said: “The amount of power these will generate does not justify the damage they will do to the moor.”

A spokesman for the company, Coronation Power said: “The UK government plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60 per cent by 2050.

“The four-turbine Bickham Moor wind farm is the only site in Mid Devon and would provide enough green electricity to supply up to 25 per cent of the area’s annual electricity needs.”

And she said it would be the smallest in the area and farthest from Exmoor National Park.

Meanwhile, an Airtricity spokesman said: “The consequences of ignoring climate change could cause significant and lasting damage to our environment and to landscapes across the planet.

“The visual aspect of wind turbines is a subjective issue: some people believe they are unattractive, while many others find them a calming and elegant addition to the skyline.”

She said that there was no evidence to suggest wind farms had a negative impact on tourism.

Western Morning News

10 January 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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