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Turbines are putting the economy of Cornwall at risk

How much longer are the residents of and visitors to Cornwall going to be blighted by these turbine developments masquerading as “investment opportunities?” They are quickly ruining the landscape of one of the most beautiful counties in England. Last week Menheniot Parish Council rejected planning permission for a turbine that would be around a kilometre from the centre of the village, St Lalluwy’s Church, it will now go to South East Cornwall Planning Committee for their decision.

Perhaps you think this isn’t a very ‘green’ attitude but the reality is that Cornwall has already exceeded its target for 2020, and it does not need any more of these “Blots on the Landscape”. If you find that hard to believe look on Cornwall Council’s website at the map of commissioned and approved turbines, it now has so many dots on it, it is getting hard to see the underlying map! I am sure some readers will consider me a NIMBY and maybe I am but in my defence I made my living by designing very high efficiency water heating equipment and have lectured on the importance of saving energy and using it wisely, badly placed turbines don’t fit that criteria.

But there are other less discussed consequences of turbines and that is the potential affect on tourism and all the businesses that it supports. My family and I run a small holiday cottage business that is about 600m from the proposed turbine which if it goes ahead will be visible to our guests and cast its flickering shadow over their barbeques when the sun goes down in the west. Our concern is that despite our best endeavours to get repeat bookings we won’t succeed, we will lose business.

Our cottages have had about 3,000 guests and they have all spent their money in the local pubs, shops and restaurants and we make a point of recommending them all. The profit we make helps us to pay for local trade people to maintain our cottages, wash and press our linen and supply all the goods we provide. We are not alone, this is how tourism works, and this is what is being put at risk by this epidemic of turbines. A change in the county’s renewable energy generation plan needs to be made before it seriously damages one of Cornwall’s most important economies.

This particular application also requires a new track off the Menheniot-Roseland road at the Tregrill junction, a junction of two blind, right-angle bends. To use an overused but in this case an accurate cliché, this is an accident waiting to happen.

It is time to call a halt.