The author of international bestseller War Horse has criticised plans to build a wind turbine at the real life setting of the novel.
Michael Morpurgo has said the proposed 145ft tower will “despoil” and ”disturb the tranquillity” of the village of Iddesleigh in Devon.
The small community was the setting for Morpurgo’s book War Horse which spawned a hit stage play and a Hollywood blockbuster directed by Steven Spielberg.
But plans have been submitted to West Devon Borough Council to install a 15-storey £600,000 wind turbine at a farm near the village hall.
The 225 kilowatt turbine will tower over the famous Tarka Trail not far from the hall which sets the scene for the story of a young farm boy and his horse, Joey.
Mr Morpurgo, 69, who lives in Iddesleigh, has described the area as an “oasis of peace and wonder, a paradise” which was “still far from the madding crowd”.
But he says the turbine would ”cast a shadow” over the village and disturb the area from “eye to ear”.
In a letter to the council, he wrote: ”As a result of the recent film and play based upon my book, War Horse, many more people are discovering the unique character of this corner of England, the farming country where Joey grew up before he was taken off as so many farm horses were to the First World War.
“However, the proposed wind turbine threatens to despoil the entire area – it will be intrusive to eye and ear; it will disturb the tranquillity and cast a shadow over all who come here, city child or visitor, and over those of us who live here and love this place.”
Michael, a freeman of West Devon, set up a charity in the area called Farms for City Children which aims to provide experience of countryside life for inner-city youths.
He has now added his voice to a local protest against the turbine, at Coombe Farm, which has so far seen dozens of objections.
The businessman and landowner behind the scheme is said to expect £100,000 a year in income from the turbine.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) claims Torridge now has more wind turbines than anywhere else in the county.
Penny Mills, chairman of the CPRE in Torridge, said turbines were “a great investment but at a high cost to the countryside”.
She said: ”A large, noisy industrial machine such as this is completely inappropriate, the impact would be enormous and it is so unnecessary.
”Our wonderful countryside and landscape is very valuable and we need to protect it for future generations to enjoy.”
English Heritage has also complained of a lack of suitable environmental consideration as part of a consultation over the plans, which ended last Friday.
A spokesman for the council said: “We are asking the applicant to provide an historic environmental impact assessment as English Heritage has told us that there is not enough information to make an informed assessment.”
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