Members of a community opposed to plans for a giant wind farm have told the developers they would rather see their countryside free of turbines than accept the offer of community benefits valued at £65,000.
Rob Fryer, of Cheshire-based Community Windfarm, which wants to erect 16 giant turbines at Davidstow Woods, attended Tremail parish meeting last week.
He told the meeting that there would be a community benefit package of £65,000 if the development went ahead and said another £65,000 had been spent on the Be Green shop in Camelford.
Opponents at the meeting said the wind farm would generate millions in profits.
The company, which had its application to build 20 turbines refused by Cornwall Council last July, has come forward with a revised plan for 16.
Caroline Bott said that in some cases community packages offered in planning applications for other Community Windfarm developments did not appear to have been delivered.
Mr Fryer said he considered that these packages had been delivered, even though it took between 18 months and four years after completion of the wind farm.
Questioned as to the 113,000 tons of carbon dioxide that the company said would be saved and the 28,000 homes powered, Mr Fryer resisted any suggestion of exaggeration.
He was also challenged by Arthur Boyt (chairman of Stinc, Stop Turbines in North Cornwall) regarding information presented in the company’s previous planning application and its environmental impact assessment.
Mr Fryer was asked about the alteration to the bird numbers stated in the environmental impact assessment of June 2009. These alterations were made without a new survey taking place.
He said that the work of previous consultants was being reviewed by the company’s current consultants, Ecology Solutions.
Karen Briggs (Stinc treasurer) pressed him about compensating home owners for loss of value to their properties. He agreed that if a loss could be proven, then the company would look at it.
Mr Fryer responded to a question about the pending Bill regarding wind farms not being closer to residences than a mile by saying that its passing was some way off and that the proposed Davidstow wind farm was 750m from the nearest property.
He said wind measurements taken in 2009 were good and would have given 37 per cent efficiency. Mr Boyt questioned this, as the wind was low for several months.
Mrs Briggs asked for the raw data but Mr Fryer said it was confidential.
Several local residents, who regularly saw starlings in the area, pointed out that the flocks would have to first fly through the proposed wind farm area and would be at high risk from collision.
Community Windfarm has agreed that should bird deaths exceed 250 per day, the turbines would be turned off until further mitigation could be found.