Church leaders have expressed concern over plans for a wind turbine in St Eval they say could have “unacceptable adverse effects” on the historic building.
Clean Earth Energy Ltd has applied to Cornwall Council to build a 35m (114ft) turbine at St Eval Recycling Centre, claiming there would be “minimal visual impact” and the structure “would not overshadow the grade one listed parish church”.
The company’s application also stated that there was an indication the community had accepted the proposal, in the light of a low turnout at an additional public meeting in July which had been widely advertised.
However, local residents who have objected include Margaret Miles, who said it “beggared belief” that another turbine was proposed, and Janet Bailey, who voiced concerned that high winds in the area could cause the turbine to “explode and catch fire”, leading to potentially catastrophic consequences.
A letter from St Eval Parochial Church Council stated that the turbine would have “unacceptable adverse effects” and that “it should be rejected” because it would be too close to the church.
Another representing village residents said the windmill would have “a detrimental visual impact,” and other local protesters pointed out that war graves in the churchyard held “sacred memories for locals” and called the turbine “a blot on the landscape”.
A previous application for a 150ft (45.7m) turbine, which was thrown out by a planning inspector in April, attracted criticism from the team who manage Cornwall’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) that it would visually harm the area.
However, Clean Earth Energy Ltd stated that the revised height of 35 metres would not affect the AONB.
Gareth Davies of Clean Earth Energy said: “We certainly feel it’s a suitable and correct proposal. We’ve had a revised visual impact assessment with regard to it overshadowing the church.
“The [recycling] centre has electricity costs of £32,000 a year; hence the turbine would be a huge help.
“We employ more than 30 people from the local area and feel the business needs to remain sustainable.”
An offer by the Recycling Centre to donate £10,000 to the community, made following criticism of the previous plan, no longer stands.
The turbine is predicted to generate more than 300,000kW of electricity a year, supplying the recycling centre and helping to carbon emissions targets.
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