Opponents of a proposed wind turbine planned for Mid Devon countryside say the giant structure which would be twice as high as the spire of nearby Withleigh Church would have a detrimental impact on the landscape.
More than 100 letters of objections have been received to the plans for the 100kW turbine at Plainfield Farm, close to the B3137 at Withleigh.
Among those who have written to object to the scheme is Chris Tucker who lives at Cruwys Morchard.
Speaking at a meeting of Tiverton Town Council’s planning committee where the application was discussed, he said: “The tip of the blades will stretch 160ft into the sky, as high as a 15-storey office block and twice as high as the spire of Withleigh Church. The scale and size means it will be seen for miles around and will completely dominate the landscape.”
He also referred to recent comments from Government which indicated a change of policy on onshore wind turbines. “Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government recently said ‘the need for renewable energy does not automatically override environmental protections or the planning concerns of local communities’, Mr Tucker said.
The applicants Microgen Wind Limited which is based in East Grinstead, submitted plans last month which show a maximum blade tip height of 48.5m and a hub height of 36.8m.
The company say the turbine is expected to generate around 275,000kWh annually, which is equivalent to the consumption of more than 60 homes according to Ofgem figures.
Microgen claims it places a “unique emphasis” on providing smaller scale wind turbine installations that are “unobtrusive, quieter and in keeping with the scale of a landowner’s business and the surrounding countryside.”
Cllr Wally Burke told members of the committee he felt the location of the turbine was “down in a valley” and as such the visual impact wuld not be as great as opponents suggested.
Cllr Elaine Trump, who chairs the planning committee said she walked in the nearby Buzzards Woods and was surprised how close to this attractive woodland walk the proposed turbine was.
Members of the committee were split three votes apiece on whether or not to support the application, but on the casting vote, Cllr Trump determined that the council would not support the application.
Mid Devon District Council will ultimately determine whether or not the turbine will be granted planning permission, and a target date of February has been set for an outcome.
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