March 23, 2013

War Horse author slams plans to build wind turbine in tranquil real-life village setting of hit book

By Mario Ledwith | Daily Mail | 22 March 2013 |

War Horse author Michael Morpurgo has criticised plans to build a wind turbine on the land that inspired his celebrated novel.

The writer said that building a 145ft (44.5m) turbine would ‘despoil’ his home village of Iddesleigh, Devon, of its tranquility.

The rural community was the setting for Morpurgo’s book that spawned a stage play and, subsequently, a Hollywood blockbuster directed by Steven Spielberg.

Plans have been submitted to West Devon Borough Council to install a £600,000 wind turbine at a farm near the village hall.

The 225 kilowatt turbine will tower over the Tarka Trail, nearby the hall that sets the scene for the story of a young farm boy and his horse Joey.

Mr Morpurgo, 69, has described the area as an ‘oasis of peace and wonder, a paradise’, which is ‘still far from the madding crowd’.

But the writer said the construction of a turbine would ‘cast a shadow’ over the village.

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 Word 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.’

The turbine, which could be constructed at Coombe Farm, has already attracted dozens of objections.

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 are ‘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 under the development’s consultation consultation, 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.’

URL to article: