Villagers have objected to plans for two wind turbines in the South Hams countryside – the largest of which was described as being a ‘monstrosity on the landscape’.
About 40 people turned up at a Dittisham Parish Council meeting on Wednesday night to express their concerns over impact, visibility and noise as well as the cumulative effect of other possible turbine proposals within a mile of the village.
Dartmouth yatchsman Paul Arnison-Newgass said a 148ft-high turbine on slopping, natural grassland at Downton Park Farm, Dittisham, would be ‘vast’.
‘This area is our responsibility and our heritage,’ he said. ‘It is not the concern of this application if the landowner needs to benefit from capital investment and the income he will get from this project.
‘Some people may think it may look brilliant and wonderful on the virgin landscape. But to allow this monstrosity is criminal to ourselves and future generations and creates a dangerous precedent.’
Totnes architect Peter Sutton likened the proposal to a 15-storey building.
He said he was ‘staggered’ either proposal, with such a ‘dramatic impact on the environment’, was even being considered.
The largest of the two turbines considered by the meeting would be built by the Birmingham firm Fine Energy on land belonging to parish councillor Keith Wotton and his wife Shirley.
Cllr Wotton left the room during the debate but Mrs Wotton claimed the noise from the turbine would be ‘negligible’.
And she added: ‘At least we are going through the right channels and applying for planning permission and not going for retrospective, unlike some in this room.’
Fine Energy estimates the turbine will generate over 618,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year – enough to power 146 homes – and it has carried out a noise-impact assessment for neighbouring properties.
But Robert Green, who lives some 488 metres away at Halwell Barn, Lapthorne Farm, Dittisham – the closest property to the proposed turbine – said he was ‘extremely concerned’ at the potentially intrusive levels of noise that would be generated.
‘In general, we are supporters of renewable energy, including turbines,’ he said.
‘But the guideline noise limit will be touching our garden and there is no margin for error there.’
Opponent Henry Harvey said the larger turbine would be higher than the Daymark Tower above Kingswear.
‘The landscape is our greatest asset and we must protect it,’ he said.
Earlier Cllr Wotton had spoken in favour of the other application – a 110ft high wind turbine for Tony Rowdon at West Norton Farm, Capton, being developed by Mosscliff Environmental Ltd.
Cllr Wotton said: ‘It’s for our children, not ourselves, and we need to deliver it now,’ he said.
South Hams Council leader and ward member Cllr John Tucker said the district council had hit target on renewables but there was no ‘cut-off point’ with applications for consideration.
Details of both applications can be seen on South Hams Council’s planning portal at www.southhams. gov.uk, where comments can also be submitted.
The Downton Park Farm reference is 18/0119/15/F and the Capton reference 18/0048/15/F.
The final decision on the turbines will be made by South Hams Council.
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