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Wind farm campaign to target key meeting

Campaigners against a proposed wind farm near Bradworthy are planning to protest at the application’s first hearing.

A bid to put up an 80metre wind speed recorder as a forerunner to the proposed development at Meddon is due to be heard on Thursday, December 16, at 2pm.

Residents opposed to the six 140m turbines likely to go up after the wind recorder, say they aim to make their feelings known at the Torridge District Council planning meeting in Riverside House, Bideford.

Spokesman for campaign group STOPIT, retired RAF Wing Commander Peter Austin, said: “We aim to speak at the meeting and as many of us as possible will be going to support them. I am ringing round all STOPIT members, and we will be meeting outside Riverside House in a show of strength.”

Protestors say the turbines proposed by developers Wind Ventures will ruin their quality of life by blighting the valley that runs alongside the hamlet earmarked for the turbines.

They also say turbine noise, known as blade swish, could result in stress and lack of sleep, and the wind farm will dramatically lower the value of their homes.

Documents from UK estate agents, including one in Holsworthy, in a recent turbine consultation study reinforce their claim. In a letter a representative of Kivells estate agents in Holsworthy wrote: “It is certainly the case that the threat of a windfarm close to a property can make it unsaleable (I have a case in Bradworthy for example) and would certainly assert that the marketing becomes much more problematic when a turbine is situated within sight or sound.”

Comments from The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in the study also show houses close to windfarms can be reduced in value by tens of thousands.

Mr Austin said: “We will be using this as evidence in our campaign to get this stopped.

“Everyone in the village is against it, and I feel very sorry for couples who have invested everything they have in buying a house, in or near the village, and now stand to be put into negative equity because of this proposal.”

In an interview for the Journal Wind Ventures development manager Daniel Baird said: “It has been shown house prices don’t suffer substantially in the long term when turbines like this go up.

“Initially there can be a dip but prices recover.”