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Church of England plans six wind turbines on Diocese of Exeter land

Residents have protested against Church of England plans to build six large wind turbines on its land in the Devon countryside.

The turbines would be 82ft high and would be built in East Anstey, Black Torrington and Chittlehampton in the north and west of the county.

One resident has said it would damage a beautiful part of Devon.

The Diocese of Exeter said it was looking at ways of developing renewable sources of energy for future generations.

The application has been submitted to the planning department.

Richard Hopton, from Chittlehampton, said: “I’m furious.

“Nobody in this country thinks it’s a good idea that we burn coal for evermore, but there has to be a balance.

“These turbines will be a permanent desecration of a very beautiful part of Devon.”

Penny Mills, local resident and representative from the Torridge Branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: “I’m quite shocked.

“I think wind turbines are so controversial they divide communities and it’s something the church should not be involved with.”

However, some residents who wanted to remain anonymous have agreed that the turbines are right for the area.

“If it helps the environment you have to look at the bigger picture,” a resident said.

A spokesperson from the diocese said: “Our long-term strategy includes looking at means of developing appropriate renewable sources of energy on our land and buildings.

“We are currently working with tenants on three farms to find the best possible site to put two small wind turbines.

“They are much smaller than those used in commercial projects and being quiet, are designed to fit well into agricultural and rural areas.”

The Archdeacon of Barnstaple, the Venerable David Gunn-Johnson, said: “The diocese is committed to working to protect God’s creation.

“If it was that controversial, we would not have this plan in place as part of the future conservation of energy.

“We will take every comment and criticism very seriously.”