A pair of wind turbines that sparked anger in Golant will have to be taken down after a planning inspector ruled the harm caused to the surrounding environment by the 21-metre structures outweighs the benefits.
The turbines at South Torfrey farm, which is a working organic farm with holiday accommodation, have been the subject of a planning battle for the past three years, with many local residents objecting to them.
They are sited within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), a mile from the Iron Age fort at Castle Dore, and the inspector’s decision document released at the end of last week stated that the turbines “harm the scenic qualities and natural beauty of the AONB” and “harm the settings of a Grade I listed building, a SAM (Scheduled Ancient Monument) and a Grade II listed building”.
Resident Richard Strode said: “I believe that the vast majority of people in the area will be delighted with the inspector’s decision, which has also been ratified by the Secretary of State. While we all acknowledge that renewable energy must play an important part of our futures, the decision clearly demonstrates that the siting of wind turbines must be more carefully considered.”
Steve Double, Conservative parliamentary candidate for St Austell and Newquay, said: “The protection of Cornwall’s coasts and landscapes from inappropriate development, particularly wind turbines, is a priority for me.
“I am delighted that the Secretary of State has upheld both the local democratic decision of the planning committee and the view of the High Court that these turbines should not be allowed.”
He went on: “I hope that Cornwall Council will now take prompt and effective enforcement action to ensure these illegal turbines are now removed.”
But Simon Andrews, who has run South Torfrey with his wife Debbie since 1996, says alternative energy sources are vital not only for the environment but also for people running their own small businesses.
“The turbines are good for the environment and they are good for business,” he said. “For any business in Cornwall fuel costs are a big part of it.
“People say tourists don’t like them and won’t come, but we have found the opposite is true.”
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