Plans to construct a giant wind turbine which would overshadow a holiday complex in St Mabyn could spell disaster for the area’s tourism trade, it has been claimed.
Richard and Penny Lloyd, the owners of St Mabyn Holiday Park, say they intend to fight the proposal to site a 77-metre turbine near the village.
A planning application has yet to be submitted to Cornwall Council for the 250-feet high structure intended for Tregaddack Farm, but it has already aroused plenty of debate in the village.
Dean Robson, of Wadebridge-based Clean Earth Energy, which is acting on behalf of farmers Ian Lobb and James Mutton, said both were busy canvassing local opinion on the proposal before any application is made.
The Lloyds say that since taking over the park four years ago, they have built up a successful business based on their park’s tranquil atmosphere.
Now, believes Penny Lloyd, all their hard work and efforts could be blown away by the turbine, and will cause their visitors to go elsewhere on holiday.
Mrs Lloyd said that, according to independent economic research, visitors to holiday parks the size of hers are responsible for up to £600,000 of local spending every year.
“All of this money is fed straight into the immediate economy, which means that it is local shops, pubs, markets and other small businesses that receive the benefit,” she says.
“Their survival, and the jobs which they sustain, are heavily dependent on visitor spending – and all this could be put at risk for the sake of lining a landowner’s pockets.
“There is an extremely strong economic case to be made against this proposal – but even more compelling is the devastating environmental impact which the turbine would have.
“I know from talking to others in the area that we are not alone in our concerns, and these developers are going to find themselves with a real fight on their hands if the application goes forward, but I hope very much they reconsider and drop the proposal,” said Mrs Lloyd. The park, which the couple run with their son, David, and his wife Emma, provides 150 pitches for tents and touring caravans, and 28 luxury caravan holiday homes.
Mr Robson said both farming families were long-standing members of the community, and Mr Mutton had a track record in incorporating renewable energy into his business.
“There is already a planning application submitted by Mr Lobb for a smaller turbine, which is much closer to the holiday park. But he has offered to withdraw that if the new turbine is allowed because it will generate ten times the energy capacity, and very much falls in line with Government policy,” he said.
Richard Lloyd said there had already been 40 objections to the smaller turbine and his family were equally opposed to both.
Residents will have a chance to air their views at a meeting of St Mabyn Parish Council on Tuesday, August 7, in the village hall.
The first hour of the meeting, which starts at 7pm, will be given over to a debate on the issue.
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