A public meeting has been called to fight plans for a huge wind turbine which campaigners say is “totally unacceptable” in a rural landscape.
Protesters are fighting plans by Dorset-based green energy company Infinergy to build a 102-metre turbine at Alscott Farm, in Shebbear, which they say would be the largest currently in Torridge District Council’s planning system.
Campaigners claim the North Devon district is “under siege” from turbine plans, with other applications including a 46-metre turbine at Henscott and one measuring 79m at Durpley Farm.
The row comes after the Diocese of Exeter ditched plans for six 25m turbines across three North Devon communities, branding some campaigners “bullying and abusive”.
Steve Harrup from The Shebbear Parishes Protection Group, said: “It’s totally unacceptable to have these huge industrial wind turbines spoiling this beautiful rural landscape. We will be strongly objecting. This is not green, its greed. Pure and simple.”
Penny Mills from the Torridge group of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, voiced concerns about the “cumulative effect” of the three proposals, and said: “I don’t think people realise the sheer scale of the turbine proposed at Alscott – it will be seen for miles around and have a dramatic impact on the landscape.”
But Richard Seymour, from Infinergy, said the location was “well-sited”, with respect to local policy. A visual impact study showed it would “not be all that visible” from a number of key locations, he said.
The firm’s public engagement event revealed that 55% of people who filled in questionnaires were in favour of the proposal, with 37% against. But Mr Seymour said: “I’m definitely prepared for some criticism. Although there are a number of people who don’t support wind turbines, in general we know that this is a well-designed scheme that people do support.”
The public meeting will take place at Shebbear Village Hall on June 28, at 7.30pm.
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