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Trethurgy Farm turbine application sparks outrage

Plans for a wind turbine almost 80 metres tall on agricultural land at Trethurgy Farm near St Austell have sparked outrage from people living nearby.

A notice from Harley Planning Consultants informing residents nearby of its intention to build on the site was recently posted on a gate leading up to the farm.

Campaigner and Trethurgy resident Malcolm Roberts said erecting the turbine at the farm would undoubtedly have an adverse effect on the people living nearby.

“This present location is alarmingly close to a section of the public bridleway that is regularly frequented by local horse-riders, cyclists and walkers,” he said.

In addition, Mr Roberts said simply posting a notice on a gate near the proposed site was not in keeping with changes to planning law.

“Recent changes now require, in most cases, for the applicant to carry out local consultation on their proposed developments prior to the formal submission of a planning application,” he said, “hence the recent placement of the notice, with a deadline of September 5.

“However, the legislation requirement is to consult in a manner that brings the development to the attention of the majority of the persons who live in the vicinity.

“For a small to medium development which has turbines up to around 50 metres high, the applicant should consult all properties within a 1km radius, and for larger- size turbines, this requires wider publicity.”

The notice of a pending application represents the latest development in a case which has rumbled on since 2012, when Stern Wind Ltd – a company with links to Jim Harley – submitted an initial application to put up a turbine on the land.

Cornwall Council’s planning department responded by insisting that an environmental Impact assessment (EIA) take place before it allowed any work to begin, but Stern Wind Ltd disputed the council’s decision, and went on to make an appeal to Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles.

Mr Pickles upheld the appeal, dismissing any suggestion that the turbine would have a significant impact on the environment and effectively overruling the council.

A spokeswoman for the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) said at the time it “objected to the previous application on December 14, 2008, and January 7, 2009, and it will do so again when and if a full planning application is lodged.

“The cumulative and negative impact that so many wind turbines are having on Cornwall’s countryside and its population must be a consideration of the planning authority when this application is determined.”

In 2008 the Eden Project expressed an interest in erecting a wind turbine there, but withdrew its plans in the face of fierce local opposition.

Harley Planning Consultants was unavailable for comment.