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Proposed wind turbine so large it has been dubbed the Hatherleigh Monster

Plans have been submitted for a turbine so large it has been dubbed the Hatherleigh Monster.

Mi-grid, the firm behind the plans, have submitted an application to West Devon Borough Council for a 77 metre turbine on land at Heane Farm, Runnon Moor Lane, near the market town.

Opposition towards the turbine has grown with more than 130 people attending a public meeting at Hatherleigh Community Centre.

Around 10 people in the town have joined forces to form the Hatherleigh Monster Turbine Group.

John and Sally Ingram’s home is around 600 metres away from the proposed site. Mr Ingram organised for 1,000 leaflets to be printed while the action group helped deliver them to people’s houses in a bid to “make people aware”.

If approved, the giant turbine would be close to the Ruby Trail.

Mr Ingram said: “The concern is the visibility and the spoiling of the tranquility. “We would hear the noise from the turbine, as would the whole of Hatherleigh.

“It would take away the stunning views of Dartmoor for us.” One of Mr Ingram’s neighbours organised for a blimp to fly at 77 metres on Sunday to showcase the impact of the proposed turbine.

Mr Ingram said: “It was very visible, it was to show what the turbine could look like. It was completely visible all around the town.”

Penny Mills, chairman of the Torridge branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: “Hatherleigh is an ancient small country market town surrounded by beautiful countryside, which is highly attractive to holidaymakers and residents alike.

“The siting of this commercial scale wind turbine overlooking the town and with far reaching impacts in the landscape, would be totally unacceptable.”

Penny said there were a large amount of turbines in the area. She said: “There are now staggering numbers of turbines in north west Devon.

“There are 152 proposed in an approximately 15-mile radius of this site at Hatherleigh alone, which if all approved and constructed would fundamentally change our beautiful rural landscape.

“We are all now living in a giant wind farm which nobody asked for and only a handful of people benefit from.”

Mi-Grid responds:

Chloe Bines, senior project manager with Mi-Grid, said the meeting, which was held on June 24, was an “honest and frank discussion”.

She said: “The number of people present at the event represented a small percentage of the population of the town.

“Typically those in support of such schemes do not attend public meetings, although a handful were present.”

Chloe said the Heane Farm turbine could generate renewable energy for more than two decades.

She said: “The proposal would generate clean, secure, renewable energy for 25 years which would be exported to the local distribution grid.

“The energy generated would be enough to power the equivalent of 525 homes, equivalent to more than half the homes in Hatherleigh.

“This in turn will save more than 1,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the atmosphere every year.”

A local community fund would be available from the income of the turbine to Hatherleigh Town Council to help local community groups and improvements to community buildings.

Chloe said: “The income for the land owner would support the business at the farm, which has been badly affected by foot and mouth and TB in recent years and would ultimately bring money to local shops and amenities.

“Some members of the public raised technical queries regarding the application and we are working with West Devon Borough Council to address these. We were approached by a number of residents following the meeting who expressed support for the scheme but did not feel comfortable voicing this in public.”