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Villagers win fight over wind turbine

Residents of St Mabyn are celebrating after winning a battle to prevent a giant wind turbine dominating the village.

Local farmers James Mutton and Ian Lobb, together with Clean Earth Energy Ltd, have decided not to submit a planning application for the 77m structure after a public outcry.

Villagers and English Heritage were concerned at the impact it would have on St Mabyn and the grade one listed church.

They were also worried about the threat to tourism in the area, claiming the large wind turbine would deter visitors.

Mr Mutton attended a packed meeting at the village hall on Tuesday night to inform his neighbours that the wind turbine application would not proceed.

He said he and Mr Lobb are committed to the general wellbeing and prosperity of the village.

Mr Mutton said: “On reflection, and having canvassed the views of those we trust and respect within the village, we concur with the general consensus that the proximity of the anticipated medium-scale turbine to the village would be visually inappropriate. We have been very clear and open throughout this process, and engaged in the consultation process with an open mind, as should be the case.

“However, our decision to withdraw from the process does not in any way diminish our commitment in renewable energy. On the contrary we believe – as this process has demonstrated – that the public in general must be more supportive of renewable energy for the greater good. A failure to act now will impact our children, and their children in turn – an aspect that we should all take very seriously indeed.”

The meeting was told English Heritage, which had given £134,000 to restore the parish church in 2006, was taking a keen interest in the latest turbine proposal and a full environmental impact study, including archaeology surveys, should be undertaken when developments were planned near a grade one building.

Abigail Kirby-Harris, who led the church’s restoration appeal, said no one in the village was a “climate change denier”, but there was a need for sensitive development.

“No one is blaming farmers for trying to maximise the income from their land,” she said.

“Farmers must diversify and there are farmers and landowners in this parish who make a good living from tourists. These people who come to unspoilt areas will soon seek to go elsewhere if the landscape becomes too dotted in unsightly turbines, with a knock-on effect for businesses everywhere.”