Campaigners say an overwhelming majority of those who attended a heated public meeting to discuss plans for Cornwall’s tallest wind farm were against the plans.
Around 300 people turned out at the meeting in Bude last Tuesday, organised by Cornwall Council, to gauge public opinion for the Big Field scheme.
Developers Good Energy, who operate the Delabole wind farm, have applied for permission to erect 11 turbines with a height of 125 metres (412 feet) blade to tip on a site between Week St Mary, Warbstow and North Petherwin.
But campaigners say 95 per cent of those who attended the meeting last week were opposed to the scheme.
Richard Sowerby, chairman of Communities Against Rural Communities (CARE) said: “We were delighted with the turnout of people to what was a distant venue, very early in the evening. Councillors were left in no doubt that locals are strongly against this proposal.”
Speakers described how their lives are already being blighted by the development.
Higher Langdon resident Peter Finneran stated: “I moved to this area six years ago. Had I known this proposal was going to happen, I would never have moved here. Rest assured if it is approved, I’ll move away no matter the hit on my property price.”
Speaker after speaker expressed concern for the wellbeing of the local tourism industry should Cornwall Council approve the application.
The CARE Group conducted an exit poll which 298 people completed, with 95 per cent were against the proposal.
Meanwhile, the Cornwall branch of Campaign to Protect Rural England has called for a moratorium on wind turbines and made a public objection to the Week St Mary development.
It says a primary concern is the visual impact of the installation on the surrounding landscape which includes three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
The 11 turbines would be as tall as a 40-storey building and the site would cover 125 acres. The blades would be seen from a distance of up to 15 km and will affect an area of over 100 square km.
Local concerns included the negative effect on house prices, tourism, traffic congestion and the environmental cost of filling a greenfield site with concrete and steel.
“We object to this proposal primarily on grounds of the acute landscape and visual impact,” said CPRE Cornwall spokesman, Orlando Kimber.
“This is clearly an industrial development in a rural area. We’re grateful to those Cornwall councillors who have underlined their support of democratic process by their attendance at this public meeting. We understand that as a county, we’ve already met our statutory commitment to renewables. We therefore ask the council to call for a moratorium on all on-shore wind turbines; to review their energy policy in the light of rapid developments over the past five years.”