A proposed wind farm development at Pilliven Farm near Witheridge has met with opposition from a newly formed committee.
A meeting was held at Witheridge Parish Hall by angry residents who object to Nuon Renewables’ plans to erect four 100-metre turbines at the farm.
The planned development, to be named Franklyn Wind Farm, started to become a reality when four large microphones were placed on surrounding properties as part of an environmental assessment in December.
Jessie Morton, owner of adjoining Foxdon Farm and spokesman for those against the development, was also approached by a power company to build on her land but dismissed the offer.
Mrs Morton said: “We were approached by a representative from a power company who told us we would make enough money out of the deal to put our children through university but we felt we had to decline.
“My main concerns with wind farms are that they don’t provide enough power, they’re too expensive to the public and they are very intrusive. We are devastated about what this could mean for the area.
“We live in a particularly quiet, rural environment and consider this possible industrial development as misplaced and intrusive. Although we may all want green energy, these monsters are not what they might seem.”
The meeting was attended by more than 70 people and a committee has since been formed.
Mrs Morton added: “We’re expecting our numbers to grow in the near future as there has been a lot of local interest by those who hadn’t been able to attend the meeting.
“The problem is that we’re dealing with big businesses here who already have their pitches prepared and our voices could easily be lost.
“These turbines are going to be taller than Big Ben and it feels as though a huge industrial development is going to end up being plonked in the countryside just so government guidelines can be met.”
Nuon Renewables said: “The scheme would generate up to eight Megawatts of clean electricity which will make a significant contribution towards Devon’s renewable energy target of 150 MW by 2010 designated in the Devon structure plan.
“Nuon will be carrying out pre-application consultation regarding their proposals in anticipation of making a formal planning application to North Devon District Council in the Spring of 2008.
“Nuon is also undertaking a comprehensive environmental impact assessment covering a range of issues such as landscape, visual impact, ecology, air traffic safety, archaeology, noise and transport.
“This has included recent siting of noise monitoring equipment at four neighbouring properties to aid the noise assessment to ensure the amenity of local residents is protected.”
By Joel Cooper
24 January 2008
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