A gargantuan wind turbine proposed for a site near Truro has prompted a furious reaction.
Residents have set up an action group and are preparing to fight developers after plans to build Cornwall’s biggest wind turbine were unveiled.
The proposed development on the Wheal Jane site at Baldhu, near Truro, measuring 122m (400ft) to the tip, would dwarf the spires of Truro Cathedral and put the tower of London’s Big Ben in the shade.
Developers said the turbine would generate green electricity for more than 1,000 homes and believed Wheal Jane, which contains Cornwall’s first solar energy farm, was the ideal brownfield site.
The Stop Wheal Jane Wind Turbine group was officially formed on Monday by residents who said their quality of life would be ruined by the giant device.
A spokesman for the group said: “The 122m height of this turbine will dominate the beautiful unspoilt vistas so many people in this area enjoy and would set a precedent for more of these huge random machines in our Cornish landscape.”
The campaign group said the turbine would be approximately 750m from a children’s nursery and could have serious implications on their future wellbeing.
Regarding health risks the protestors claimed: “The sound level of the rotating blades could cause wind turbine syndrome, according to a growing body of medical experts from all over the world.
“Wind turbines cause ‘flicker’ from sun behind the windmill which causes emotional disturbance to affected residents and can trigger epilepsy in affected individuals.”
The campaign group has set up www.stopwhealjanewind turbine.com to highlight their concerns and will take up the matter with the local MP.
However Betty Levene, writing about the proposal on behalf of Falmouth Friends of the Earth, said: “Climate change is by far the greatest threat that humanity and most higher species face and every small step that can be taken to restrain its impact is vital.”
Jo Reeves, communications manager at Partnerships For Renewables Development Company, which has submitted the planning application, said many wind farms have become visitor attractions and seen as positive additions to an area, often by those who initially opposed them.
Refuting the health risk claims of the campaign group, she said: “We have completed detailed noise assessments at the site, using the closest residences as receptors to ensure that noise will not be an issue for neighbours.
“An independent study in 2010 showed there is no scientific evidence that wind turbines have any patho-physiological health effects.”
The developers said the installation of the turbine would contribute to the overall aims of the Wheal Jane Masterplan – a project to create a group of renewable energy companies on the former mine site.
More information on the proposals is available online at www.pfr.co.uk/whealjane
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