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Fears wind farms will affect tourism

Campaigners against proposals to build six wind turbines near Rooksbridge fear it will affect the area’s tourism because of the ‘devastating’ impact on the landscape.

The NoPilrow members and opposed residents argue the Broadview Energy planned 140 metre turbines are too big.

But the company has said there is no evidence that they wind farms would negatively impact on tourism – and other areas with turbines had prospered.

NoPilrow committee Chairman, Nick Woolmington, said: “If the turbines go ahead there will undoubtedly be massive affects on our local tourism.

“We want to keep the Somerset Levels free of industrial build up and maintain our natural and green environment. I’m sure the many thousands of holidaymakers and families who visit us each year would agree with me.”

The group, which has more than 300 members, has been backed by Burnham and Highbridge MP Tessa Munt.

The leader of the Green LibDemMPs said: “The Broadview Energy proposal, in my view, is eco vandalism. Somerset has to be protected, as do the 26,000 people employed in tourism jobs in this county.

Tom Cosgrove, project manager at Broadview Energy, said: “The UK’s first commercial wind farm at Delabole in Cornwall received 350,000 visitors in its first 10 years of operation.”

He added: “There is no evidence to suggest that this has in any way affected the large numbers of tourists that visit the county every summer. Cornwall has, in fact, been voted ‘Favourite UK Holiday County or Region’ at the British Travel Awards for the last two years and has been nominated again for the 2011 award.”