Two Cornish Farmers are struggling to convince the local community over plans to put up a 250ft wind turbine.
The monster construction is set to tower over the rolling hills of St Mabyn, near Wadebridge.
It’s being managed and part-financed for local farmers Ian Lobb and James Mutton by Clean Earth, an eco-outfit run by St Minver resident Dean Robson.
Clean Earth say the vast structure at Tregaddack Farm meets all the official guidelines and shouldn’t upset anyone – although they admit it “is large” and are up for discussion.
Locals say a 77 metre wind turbine has no place amid the rolling hills of the North Cornish countryside.
Resident Derek Sturch explained: “We’re glad the developers are talking to us – we’re just not certain how you minimise the impact of something 250ft high, and 135 metres above sea level!
“It will be situated adjacent to the village of St Mabyn, obviously on high ground, and willcompletely overshadow the surrounding houses.
“The outstanding beauty and tranquillity of the moor and country side will be spoiled.”
He explained: “The church tower of St Mabyn is the tallest in the area, at 80ft.
“That can be seen for miles around.
“The turbine will be another 170ft higher and completely dominate the skyline.
Many of the villagers want to kill the turbine “before it gets off the ground” and a number of petitions are doing the rounds.
Derek went on: “One can appreciate people installing solar panels and turbines to generate “green energy” for their own use.
“But to generate energy on an ad hoc basis solely for commercial gain opens the door to the widespread introduction of these individual massive constructions throughout Cornwall.
“We have wild, beautiful unspoilt moorlands and countryside bounded by a unique coastline.
“Continued expansion of these structures will eventually ruin that, and we’ll be biting the hand that feeds us in tourism income.”
Clean Earth held a meeting with local people this week and they’ve put their application submission off.
Director Dean confessed: “There is no doubt that the turbine is high. And we’re not trying to push through this proposal under anyone’s radar.
“But it’s by no means the largest turbine in Cornwall: it’s still medium sized technically: the Delabole turbines are over a hundred metres high. This is mid-scale.
“I don’t think even the council classifies it as large.”
The former Inland Revenue accountant explained: “In my view it’s much better to have a small number of large turbines rather than a large number of small turbines.
“One 500kw, 77 metre tall turbine produces 1.5 to 1.9 kilowatt hours a year – that’s the same as an 8 to 10 acre field covered in solar panels.
“Whereas two turbines half the size produce only twenty per-cent of that: so large turbines are the way forward.”
Clean Earth said they ‘worked with the council’ to advise on the best sites for turbines.
The vast structures are shooting up nationwide as Government aims to meet targets set for 2020 of making twenty per-cent of the UK’s electricity clean.
Clean Earth’s initial proposal was for a 30 metre turbine the other side of St Mabyn, a scheme they said met with no local resistance.
The 250ft high idea came about because it’s ‘ten times the output’. which Dean said was “the important thing from the Government’s perspective.”
He said: “It’s always the same when a turbine is anticipated – those parties that live closer by are goin to more than likely object.
“But this turbine passes all the noise and ecology tests: it’s 450 metres from the nearest house in St Mabyn and 600 metres from the closest campsite.”
He insisted: “James Mutton runs biometh boilers and is committed to green energy, he walks the walk with regard to this issue.
“Both he and Ian Lobb have been in the vicinity for generations.
We absolutely are listening to everything that local people say”.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding