The owners of a care home in North Cornwall say the lives of its residents will be affected after a planning inspector allowed a 150ft wind turbine to be built close by.
Bosses at the five-star Fairfield Country Rest Home are furious about the decision to approve the application on appeal – after it was rejected by Cornwall Council and the local community.
The 54-metre turbine will be built on Bernard Allin’s Prustacott Farm, at Launcells, near Bude. The inspector said residents at the care home had “no right to a view”.
The plan, by Windberry Energy Ltd, was turned down last August by Cornwall Council’s east sub-area planning committee, with ten votes against and one abstention.
The proposal had also drawn objections from many in the local community, as well as the Campaign to Protect Rural England.
The turbine will be within 500 metres of the care home which, with over 30 staff, is one of the largest employers in the local area.
Director Sam Pantling said: “This big turbine will affect our views and the peace and tranquillity of our beautiful residential home.
“Local people are against it, the parish council voted against it, the Cornwall councillor was against it, ten of the members of the planning committee voted against it, now one man who is not elected has gone against everyone else’s opinion.
“The residents’ families want us to fight as hard as we can. They feel it is intrusive, are concerned about the impact, and are feeling sorry for us.”
The turbine is expected to produce enough electricity to supply 150 households.
Planning inspector, Neil Pope, said: “The main issue is whether the benefits of the scheme, including the production of electricity from a renewable resource, outweigh any harmful impacts, having particular regard to the effect upon the character and appearance of the surrounding countryside.”
He said the development would have a moderate effect on the countryside.
“The more vulnerable members of society who reside here are likely to spend much time in their bedrooms and the garden, taking advantage of the pleasant views across the countryside. However, there is no right to a view and, like many rural areas, this part of the countryside is subject to some noise, including road traffic and farm vehicles.”
Paula Dolphin, Cornwall councillor for the area, said: “The thing for me is the localism agenda the Government keeps pushing, where it wants local towns and parishes to decide things for themselves, and this is so far away from that.
“On this particular application, we opposed the cumulative impact it would have on the area as there are quite a few wind turbines already.
“I am in favour of the green agenda and renewable energy, but some areas in Cornwall are really getting to the point where they look industrial, and we need to look at this.”
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