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Turbines will ruin ‘gateway to the country’

Objectors have declared that two 46m wind turbines in Ugborough would ‘ruin the gateway to the South Hams’ should the application be granted. A planning application for two 50kW wind turbines on agricultural land in Ugborough has been sent to South Hams Council planners. The application has already had several letters of objection from residents arguing that it will damage the ‘beautiful, uninterrupted skyline and the experience of arriving into this scenic part of Devon’. According to the application the turbines, planned for land at Stone Farm close to the B3196, would feed electricity back into the farm business to allow them to continue trading and to grow, ‘in what has been a difficult time for small businesses’. The turbines have an estimated output of 221MWh of electricity per annum each – equating to an annual CO2 saving of around 222 tonnes. The application already as over 25 letters of objection on the South Hams Council planning website, all objecting to the visual impacts of the turbines and road concerns. Richard Dix, said: ‘The proposed sites for two 50kW wind turbines is just south of Kitterford Cross on the B3196. ‘Namely the major tourist route for Modbury, Dartmouth, Bigbury, Salcombe, Thurlestone, and Kingsbridge as approached from the A38 and thus an important gateway into the South Hams. ‘Their presence would have a significant, overpowering visual impact on the currently beautiful uninterrupted skyline. ‘The experience of arriving into this scenic part of Devon would be ruined by the effect of these turbines.’ ‘The very close proximity to the B3196 is also a concern. This is a very narrow road – especially near the proposed site, where there are few passing places. ‘This is made especially difficult when two opposing caravans or larger lorries are attempting to pass each other. ‘The proposed site and potential visual distraction, plus related construction traffic, could cause a danger to road users as well as threaten long delays. ‘Also the distraction on the approaches to Kitterford Cross – an already difficult junction with an unfortunate accident record, must surely make the site inappropriate and get the planners to reject the application?’ There are also concerns over the lack of consultation with the local community regarding the application. Mr Dix added: ‘The timing of this announcement and short period by which people can respond seems suspicious. Due to the start of school summer holidays, parliament about to go to recess, people away on vacations and so forth – meaning fewer people can be consulted. ‘Writing to all residents within 5km would have achieved a more thorough and accurate response.’ In the application, made by agents Mosscliffe, it states: ‘In the absence of specific guidance on pre-consultation it is felt that the information and time scales provided are relevant to size and scale of the proposal. Ugborough Parish Council has also objected to the application with concerns over its excessive height and prominent location, resulting in adverse effect on the landscape, affects the setting of the church, a listed building and the proximity to a busy road and crossroads at Kitterford Cross, causing a distraction. They have also requested that South Hams Council investigate the original consultation, in their statement the council said it was inadequate and did not comply with the town and country planning development management procedure, as the five nearest landowners were not consulted. There has, however, been a small number of local residents supporting the application. Jon May, who lives close to the land, said: ‘I live close to the proposed site and would probably be able to see the turbines from my house, but I have no concerns about their construction. ‘They would have no detrimental impact upon birds, bats, dormice or badgers, nor any flora or ancient hedgerows. ‘They will enhance the view from Ugborough Beacon for those who would appreciate the generation of sustainable power, and will complement the two turbines already visible to the west, which have not had the impact upon tourism or wildlife as suggested.’