Controversial plans for a wind turbine close to St Endellion church have been dealt a further blow by a Ministry of Defence requirement that – if approved – the turbine should be illuminated at night by bright red flashing lights.
Plans for the 61-metre high turbine should have been determined by January 6, but correspondence between the developers and Cornwall Council is continuing over issues such as potential noise and landscape impacts.The site is only 500 metres from the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The proposal concerns Treswarrow Park Farm, Trelights, near Port Isaac, close to where the government last year over-ruled council objections and approved a large solar farm.Dozens of local residents have written to the council protesting that a wind turbine would undermine the character of St Minver and St Endellion churches.
The St Endellion church has in recent years attracted considerable national attention, having the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, as a warden; and as a favourite place of Prime Minister David Cameron – his daughter was christened there in 2010.It is also home to the annual St Endellion music festival.
Now the Ministry of Defence has joined the list of objectors, expressing concern over the impact on radar installations at Hartland, North Devon.
A letter from Rachel Evans of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation within the MoD warns that the turbine would cause “unacceptable interference,” to its radar.She goes on to advise that even if the developers can find a technical solution to this problem, “the MoD requests that the turbine is fittedwith 25 candela omni-directionalred lighting or infra-red lighting with an optimised flash pattern of 60 flashes per minute.
“The principal safeguarding concern of the MoD with respect to the development of wind turbines relates to their potential to create a physical obstruction to air traffic movements.”
Natural England is another objector, saying: “The proposed turbine would be a modern intrusion of an industrial nature detracting from the natural forces that shape the landscape of the AONB diminishing its feelings of antiquity, wildness, tranquillity and remoteness and appearing to be at odds with the scale of the landscape.”
The Somerset-based developers, Murex Energy Ltd, in their response to objectors, say the proposed wind turbine, which is nearly 15 metres lower in height than a similar project rejected three years ago, is consistent with guidelines on noise and landscape.
It is still not clear when Cornwall Council will rule on the application, which was submitted in November.