The owner of one of Cornwall’s oldest estates has spoken out in defence of limited wind turbine development in the county.
Sir Richard Rashleigh owns the Menabilly estate on the Gribben Peninsula, known for its beauty and as the former home of author Daphne du Maurier.
The estate has donated land for the erection of two wind turbines by Fowey renewable energy group FREE, currently being considered, and offered three further sites for other sources of renewable power.
The turbine plans have proved contentious, with a campaign now being mounted against FREE’s proposals.
“The Rashleighs have held the Menabilly estate for 400 years, and as such are very aware that it sits on a beautiful piece of Cornish coastline and that this heritage is a trust to be nurtured and passed on to future generations,” he said.
“We wouldn’t want to see any proliferation of turbines along this coastline. However, I also take the view that one or possibly two isn’t a proliferation.
“This whole endeavour is driven by a desire to make a positive contribution to reducing our dependency on oil and other fossil fuels, and doing it in a such a way that the financial benefits flow primarily to the local community.
“Our generation has stripped the world of many natural resources. Our fathers who gave their lives in two world wars said: ‘We gave our today for your tomorrow’. Let us not be a generation who say to our children: ‘We took your tomorrow for our today’.”
Sir Richard stated his belief in a “moral duty and responsibility” to safeguard the future of the world, describing the proposals that have divided opinion in some Cornish communities as “modest in this context.
“Were the events currently going on in the Middle East to escalate further, we could easily see eye-watering increases in the cost of oil which would make renewable energy seem, by comparison, cheap and of critical national importance.”
Further scientific effort and research were needed, he said, in order to make it unnecessary to install wind turbines.
“If technology should move to the point whereby a tidal or wave system off our shores would make wind turbines redundant I would be more than happy to remove all traces of them at the first opportunity.”
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