A Cornish village devastated by floods eight years ago has launched a protest against the proposed building of five wind turbines in the area.
The turbines are planned for the hills surrounding Boscastle, which was devastated by floods in August 2004 which caused millions of pounds worth of damage and took months to repair.
No one died in the flooding, despite the severe damage to scores of buildings and cars as three inches of rain fell in just two hours.
But now residents are concerned by recent plans to build five new wind turbines in Lesnewth, a tiny community near Boscastle, where much of the rainwater collected before joining the rivers which weave down to the scene of the floods.
Protesters say the turbines, which will measure up to 34m (110ft) to blade tip, will destroy ”one of the last wild sanctuaries of Britain” if they are given the go-ahead by county planners.
Pat Thorne, who is one of the 30 people on Lesnewth’s electoral roll, said the proposals would contradict the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’s (AONB) management plan, adding a scar on the ”wild, wet and windy but stunningly beautiful” natural landscape.
”The irony is not lost on me that Mother Nature threatened to destroy Boscastle and now the forces of nature are threatening to destroy this wild and protected environment once again,” said Mrs Thorne, a retired school teacher.
”Much of the rainwater that fell on August 16, 2004, fell here in Lesnewth, before joining the river Valency and travelling 700ft down to sea level at Boscastle.
”We are of course not against renewable energy, we do a lot ourselves at our property. What we are against is the proliferation of wind turbines, in an area like this.”
Only one application for a turbine has been submitted, through Aspire Planning Ltd, with four more applications at the screening stage.
Protester Eric Gill said he was concerned about ”catastrophic” noise pollution ”in what currently is a very peaceful” area.
”The noise would not be disguised by traffic as we virtually have none; the only sound here is the sound of the countryside,” he added.
Lesnewth is popular with in-land tourists, with the nearby St Juliot church attracting those keen to witness the architectural designs of Thomas Hardy, who worked on plans for the building’s restoration.
A spokesman from Lesnewth Parish Meeting group – which is too small to have its own parish council – said: ”Our unique ancient and breathtaking landscape has such a high and precious value not only to us as residents but also by the very many tourists that visit the area who come just to embrace themselves in the quiet rural peace we have to offer.”
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