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Turbine 'will harm countryside' 

A 70m (230ft) wind turbine planned for the Sussex Downs will harm a protected landscape, campaigners have claimed.

Glyndebourne Opera House has said the turbine will generate the equivalent of its entire annual electric consumption.

But Tom Oliver, from the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), said the turbine would be “clearly visible from a great tract of the countryside”.

Campaigners, including the CPRE, are giving evidence on Wednesday at a public inquiry into the plans.

The six-day inquiry into the planned 850kw turbine on Mill Plain, between Ringmer and Lewes, is being held at the White Hart Hotel in Lewes.

‘Sad irony’

Mr Oliver said the turbine blades would disrupt the “magnificence” of the Downs and distract anyone seeking to find inspiration from the landscape.

He added: “There is growing consensus that the experience of tranquillity is beneficial to human health and well-being.”

He said: “It is a sad irony that Glyndebourne, which is rightly renowned for creating one kind of beauty, should care little that their scheme could deprive so many people of another precious experience.”

David Murray, from the Ramblers’ Association, said CPRE findings showed both the scale and location was inappropriate.

And Jacquetta Fewster, director of the South Downs Society, said people visited the area to get away from “rush and noise” and to take in “unspoilt views”.

“The challenge is to build renewable energy technology which doesn’t destroy the tranquillity and beauty we all cherish so much,” she said.

Officials at Glyndebourne have said the turbine forms part of their vision to cut carbon emissions by 71% and make the venue more environmentally sustainable.

Last week, veteran wildlife broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, 81, said he “greatly applauded” the move.

BBC News

5 March 2008

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