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Turbines plans near Boscastle branded ‘catastrophic’ idea

Residents of a tiny parish in North Cornwall are preparing to fight plans for wind turbines that they say could have “catastrophic” consequences if approved.

People living in the hamlet of Lesnewth, just inland from Boscastle, were concerned last week to find that a second application for a 34-metre turbine had been lodged with Cornwall Council.

It would be built on land north west of Tregrylls Farm and follows an application for an identical turbine on land south of Hillside Cottage, at Lesnewth.

The tiny hamlet has an adult population of just 36 and people there believe that a total of five turbines are planned around their community.

They say the wind turbines would destroy “one of the last wild sanctuaries of Britain” if they are given approval by county planners.

Lesnewth attracts tourists who come to see the nearby St Juliot church and the architectural designs of Thomas Hardy, who worked on the building’s restoration.

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 management plan, adding a scar on the “wild, wet and windy, but stunningly beautiful” natural landscape.

“We are not against renewable energy, we do a lot ourselves at our property,” he said. “What we are against is the proliferation of wind turbines in an area like this.”

The applications have been submitted through Aspire Planning Ltd, of Taunton.

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 said.

Meanwhile, a meeting has been arranged in Camelford on Wednesday at which details will be made available on the latest plans for a large-scale wind farm at Davidstow.

The exhibition takes place at the Clease Hall from 1pm to 7pm. It is organised by the BeGreen shop in the town, and should include plans showing proposed turbine locations.

It is understood that the results will also be announced of a local survey to find out if people favoured a site of 15 large turbines or 17 smaller machines.

The firm behind the imminent application to Cornwall Council, Community Windpower, is offering £99,000 a year in community benefits if the 17 smaller turbines are put in place, or £220,000 if the 15 turbines, which are larger and produce more overall power, are erected on the moorland site.

“It will also be an opportunity for people to ask questions,” said Ron Muckleston, energy adviser at the Camelford shop, who has lodged a “scoping” application with Cornwall Council to ascertain what they require from an environmental impact assessment.