Angry residents have condemned plans for a 115 foot high wind turbine close to the World Heritage site on Bodmin Moor.
The structure near Upton Cross would be visible from the ancient Cheesewring landmark in an area of outstanding beauty and great historic value.
The Cornish Cheese Company want to erect the turbine to provide it with a renewable energy source, but the plan has fallen foul of Cornwall Council planning officers, who say the turbine will cause significant harm to the Bodmin Moor Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and substantial harm to the Cornwall and West Devon UNESCO World Heritage site, including ancient monuments.
The application at Knowle Farm, Upton Cross has been met with dozens of complaints from outraged residents, with some labelling it as a “total travesty.”
The local authority has received 65 official objections and sparked a debate online with more than 200 comments.
One resident, who has lived in the area for more than 30 years, told Cornwall Council: “To erect a wind turbine of the size proposed would be a total travesty and cause untold problems to the community, tourism and the local infrastructure.”
Another said: “By placing such a structure that is alien to the surrounding countryside beggars belief – the visual impact will be catastrophic.”
Phillip Stansfield of the Cornish Cheese Company, said the turbine is necessary for the business and that it will have a positive effect on the area.
“For us, it’s all about trying to create a sustainable, self-efficient business,” he said.
“There’s a big demand for our cheese and we want to fulfil that demand, but we need to cut our energy costs to do that.
“The more we can grow and expand the more people we can employ from the area and the turbine will help all of that progress.
“It will provide us with 190,000 kilowatt-hours, which coupled with the 50,000 we already get from a small solar panel system, would virtually provide all of our energy.”
Mr Stansfield went on to explain that the impact of the turbine on the landscape would not be as significant as people assume.
“It’s a not a massive wind turbine, most of the visuals show that it won’t even break the skyline for a lot of people.” he said.
“It’s the same old story; we have had support but people who support it are intimidated by the objectors because of the manner in which they are going about it.”
Cornwall Council’s east sub-area planning committee is scheduled to determine the application on Monday.
Officers have recommended the turbine should be refused.
Planning officer Davina Pritchard has told committee members the turbine would result in an alien feature within the highly valued landscape.
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