Protestors are warning that a tranquil part of North Devon will become a “living hell” if plans for a new wind farm go ahead.
Development firm Wind Ventures is looking to site five 126m (413ft) high turbines at Harbour Cross, on the outskirts of Meddon near Bradworthy.
Daniel Baird, from the firm, said he was pleased with the response at an exhibition held in Meddon last week and is looking to submit a planning application to Torridge District Council before the end of the year.
But the move has met fierce opposition and members of STOPIT – Stop Turbine Onshore Proliferation in Torridge – say they will fight the plans all the way.
Chairman Dave Westcott said: “This is going to be a colossal fight. We know what it will entail and we have experts lined up ready to fight for us.
“These turbines will be just 800 yards from the nearest house and will be 100ft taller than Big Ben.
“They would look the part in an industrial estate, but not here in the countryside.
“We might be a small community but we are prepared to fight all the way.”
Laura Swain, owner of the West Country Inn, which is about 1,200m away from the proposed site, said the development could signal the end of trading at the 300-year-old inn.
She said: “Torridge is becoming smothered by turbines. Developers are blindly sweeping in and it is devastating.
“I think it will be a living hell if these monstrous turbines are given the go ahead.
“The West Country Inn is a 300-year-old building that has really stood the test of time. It is part of our heritage and is in danger of being wiped out. It has been a running business for 300 years and is a hub of the community.
“I’ve spent eight years building up a business just to see my livelihood thrown away.”
Laura added: “We are a tourist destination right on the moor which is SSSI protected. It is renowned for its peace and tranquillity and we have people come here from all over the world.
“I don’t think people will want to come here to look at an industrialised area.
“It will be horrific from the top of Bursdon Moor at the vantage point. It will be puncturing the skyline around this area.
“It is a nightmare scenario. I just wish they could put these things away from people and civilisation where they are not going to affect people’s lives.”
Objector Phil Ashmore said: “All that really matters to me is the destruction of this beautiful landscape that we moved into being lost forever in the name of green energy when it is really greed energy.”
But Mr Baird said: “There was a full spectrum of opinion at the exhibition, some who were dead against wind farm development and others who were offering to send letters of support.
“The majority of people didn’t know much about wind farms but had heard lots of alarming stories. We had technical consultants on hand to talk about things like noise.
“One of the main concerns is that a wind farm will affect house prices but there is absolutely no evidence of devaluation of houses near wind farms, nor have they been proven to affect tourism.
“Wind farms are not an uncommon feature on the British Isles now and all issues over the visual impact will be heard as part of the planning application.”
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