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Twin turbine plan has 'no regard' for listed buildings

Plans to build two turbines taller than Truro Cathedral on the outskirts of a village have riled renewable energy campaigners.

Real Grampound members claim the application for the 100m-high machines to the north of the A390 on the east side of the village has “no regard” for nearby listed buildings.

Airvolution Energy has filed the application for the 4MW turbines at Garlenick Estate, which could power about 2,400 homes.

A public meeting about the proposal was held last Wednesday evening.

The turbines would stand 650m from “two principle listed buildings” including in the direct view from grade two* listed Penans Farm House, according to Real Grampound’s representative, Paul Bateman, from Influence Planning.

Mr Bateman said: “There has been no specific regard to residential outlook or any heritage asset. Clearly the setting of a listed building is quite important.

“To be honest I don’t think any of us are against wind turbines per se, but it just has to be in the right location.”

In a statement Airvolution Energy said an environmental report “has assessed the impact of the proposal on cultural heritage and concludes that the turbines will not substantially harm the significance or setting of any listed buildings”.

It continues: “Airvolution Energy takes great care and attention in choosing locations for its wind energy projects.

“We believe this is a good location and that the scheme has many benefits to offer in terms of renewable energy generation, the associated community benefit fund, and an inflow of money to the community from business rates.”

After last week’s meeting, Grampound with Creed parish chairman Allan Webb said: “There were mixed opinions. Clearly people have very strong views in both directions.”

Cornwall Council representative for the area Bob Egerton, who has already come out in support of the turbines, is organising a referendum to gauge public opinion in the parish before the application is considered by Cornwall Council’s strategic planning committee.

But Mr Bateman said the referendum is not supported by Real Grampound.

“If a development is harmful, it shouldn’t be the case of a simple majority saying if they like it or not. In these particular circumstances a referendum holds no weight.”

Numerous comments on Cornwall Council’s website show there is also strong support for the project.

One states: “Some residents like me who live on Fore Street, Grampound, and whose houses face south, are unable to enjoy solar or voltaic panels as we live in listed buildings and in a conservation area. Therefore, I welcome the opportunity to support clean, renewable energy in Grampound.”

A proposal for a 75m turbine on the opposite side of the road is also expected soon.