A couple fear their guest house business could be wrecked by the latest plans to build a 148ft-high wind turbine virtually on the doorstep of their Dittisham home.
Ian and Karen McMaster are campaigning to halt the proposals to set up the turbine on the prominent site at Downton Park Farm, Dittisham – just over 500 metres from their business and home at Downton Lodge.
The couple are worried about noise from the turbine along with its visual impact on the area in general – and their holiday business in particular.
Birmingham-based Fine Energy Ltd has yet to submit a formal planning application for the turbine.
But the company has already began talks with local planners and requested a ‘screening opinion’ to sort out whether an application would need an environmental impact assessment.
A similar screening opinion has already been sought for a much larger 325ft high wind turbine a Yonders Parks, Hemborough, ahead of a planning application and the Stroud-based energy company Renewables First was told that an environmental impact assessment will not be necessary.
Mr and Mrs McMasters have run their holiday business from Downton Lodge for six years. Mr McMasters said: ‘One of the main things we promote to potential guests is the peaceful tranquil location and we are very concerned that that is going to be jeopardised by a noisy wind turbine.
‘That is quite apart from the visual impact because it will be in the direct line of sight between our property and the top of Dartmouth and you will see it from every window on the south facing elevation of our guest house where the principal windows are.’
The couple have already registered their concerns with South Hams MP Sarah Wollaston who invited the pair to meet local government minister Nick Boles when he visited Dartington recently.
Mr McMaster said: ‘The strength of feeling among all those present against inappropriately sited wind turbines was very evident.
‘Nick Boles said that the matter is currently under review and that he anticipated a report towards the end of May. Mr Boles also announced that new information concerned with a phenomenon called wind shear – which suggests the model that’s been used to date to predict the noise that’s likely to be experienced by nearby properties is fundamentally flawed – is also being reviewed.’
A spokesman for Fine Energy declined to comment.
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