A report into the visual impact of wind farms on Exmoor has found mocked-up photos of the proposed turbines “misleading”.
The report looked at photomontages for 24 turbines to the south of the national park. It found that the photomontages in four wind farm applications “underestimated the visual impact of the proposal”.
The images were produced so people could assess for themselves the impact of the power-generating scheme.
But authors of the Architech Animation Studios report, said: “It is our findings that, in terms of the way the images are interpreted by the public, the visuals are not properly understood and are therefore misleading.”
Commissioned by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and the Two Moors Campaign, Architech also produced its own photomontages so the public could see its impressions of the likely visual impact.
Bob Barfoot, chairman of CPRE North Devon, said: “The difference between the photomontages produced by the developers and those produced by the independent specialists is truly remarkable.
“The turbines appear much closer in the images contained in Architech’s report.”
Mr Barfoot added that it was important for the public to look at the new image before deciding on the issue.
“We were concerned that although four developers stated they had followed best practice, there were major differences in the way that each set of images were presented within the Environmental Statements. That is the reason for commissioning this independent report.”
Caroline Harvey, secretary of the Two Moors Campaign, said: “It’s so important to see just how massive these turbines will be and what a huge impact there will be over such a massive area.”
Architech’s report will be sent to the North and Mid Devon planning authorities and the Exmoor National Park Authority.
7 February 2008
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