Plans have been submitted for a controversial £30million scheme that would see an 11 wind turbine solar farm erected near five villages in North Cornwall.
Renewable energy developer Good Energy submitted plans for the 125metre turbines to Cornwall Council yesterday.
If approved The Big Field Wind Farm would sit on farmland between Week St Mary, Jacobstow, Warbstow, North Petherwin and Whitstone, around nine miles south of Bude.
The proposals, which were first mooted in January 2013, could eventually form part of the largest renewable energy park in Cornwall – if the developer submits plans for a 75-acre solar farm, that it may consider at a later date.
In announcing the plans, Good Energy listed a range of community benefits which it has put together following two fiery consultation sessions with locals.
The benefits include a local community fund worth £63,250-a-year and local dual fuel and electricity tariffs to all households within 5km of the development.
But villagers opposed to the plans have voiced numerous concerns including house prices, noise and visual impact.
Juliet Davenport, founder of Good Energy, said: “We believe The Big Field Wind Farm can provide a lasting positive legacy for the environment and the local community, and we are proud to put our name to it.
“Having consulted locally for over a year, we believe this project meets all planning requirements and supports both local and national renewables targets.”
The Wiltshite-based firm has more than 40,000 renewable energy customers and some 5,000 domestic and business customers in the South West.
It recently spent £11.8million upgrading Britain’s first commercial wind farm at Delabole and estimates the Week St Mary scheme would have an installed capacity of 25.3MW and generate enough renewable energy to power around 13,500 homes.
Amongst its list of benefits would be an outdoor learning centre that would provide camp-style accommodation of groups of up to 30 children from across Cornwall.
It has also committed to working with landowners and the Farming and WIldlife Advisory Group South West to “ show how farming and wildlife can flourish alongside renewable energy”.
Campaign group Communities Against Rural Exploitation (CARE) had previously said the wind turbines would be a blot on the landscape that would affect holiday trade.
But other locals have said they were in favour of the scheme, Dave Smith from Warbstow saying he was a firm believer in the importance of big renewable energy projects.
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