May 11, 2011

Wind turbines 'will damage businesses' 11 May 2011

Traders operating close to the site of a proposed wind farm have claimed they will lose business if the plans get Cornwall Council’s approval.

Speaking at a public meeting staged by St Ervan Parish Council to discuss the wind farm plans, a number expressed their concerns about a lack of compensation for the losses local businesses would experience.

Keith Gregor said: “If this is permitted the development could cause the loss of the business started by my grandfather, the farmhouse and the caravan site. We would not be compensated for this at all.

“There is also evidence showing that strobing light from the blades turning can cause epilepsy.”

REG Windpower, the company behind the plans, has held a number of public consultations since the concept was first raised at the end of 2009.

After consulting the public it became clear a smaller number of larger turbines was the preferred option for the site, near the existing Bear Downs wind farm between St Mawgan and St Eval, rather than more smaller ones.

Since the public consultation, said Mr Gregor, a petition had been launched opposing the scheme.

REG project manager Simon Pipkin said: “We know there is considerable local support for this renewable energy project. Not only have local people helped shape the scheme by expressing a preference for five 100m turbines rather than eight smaller models, but nearly two-thirds of visitors to a public exhibition told us they support the project.

“We always strive to be good neighbours and have worked hard to design a wind farm that generates a significant quantity of safe, clean renewable electricity while respecting our surroundings. For example, we have already submitted a proposal to Cornwall Council outlining how we will automatically shut down any turbine causing a shadow flicker nuisance to nearby homes, effectively eliminating the problem.”

At the end of the public meeting parish councillors voted to oppose the planning application and stated seven reasons, including the strobing and noise from the blades.

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