It’s enough to send TV’s grumpy Doc Martin’s blood pressure soaring – and perhaps make the PM rethink his daughter’s Cornish name.
But a planning row over a proposed wind turbine, complete with red flashing lights, which could tower over a picturesque Westcountry village is no laughing matter for angry residents.
A storm of protest had already erupted in St Endellion – which so enchanted David Cameron and wife Samantha that they named their fourth child after it – over controversial proposals for the 200ft tall turbine.
But that has now turned into a whirlwind, after it emerged that the proposed structure would have to be illuminated at night by red flashing lights because of nearby Ministry of Defence radar equipment.
Locals claim the rural beauty of this corner of north Cornwall would be ruined by the towering turbine at Treswarrow Park Farm at Trelights, near Port Isaac, where television showDoc Martin is filmed.
The MoD has also joined the protests, expressing concern over the impact on radar installations just along the coast at Hartland.
Thousands of tourists visit every year to admire the village and its 13th century church. The Camerons christened their fourth child Florence Rose Endellion, who was born at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro in August 2010, because they loved holidaying near the village.
But in a letter to Cornwall Council, villager John Phelps, said: “This application will have a huge negative impact in an area of unspoilt coast and countryside that uses its natural beauty to attract visitors to an area that relies on tourism to provide employment.
“I imagine that David Cameron named his daughter Endellion after a place that he and his wife thought was beautiful. I’m sure he won’t name his next child Treswarrow after a noisy, ugly wind turbine.”
A similar letter from Rachel Evans, of the MoD’s Defence Infrastructure Organisation, warned the turbine would cause “unacceptable interference” to the nation’s radar defence system.
She said even if the turbine’s backers can find a technical solution to this problem, “the MoD requests that the turbine is fitted with 25 candela omni-directional red lighting or infra-red lighting with an optimised flash pattern of 60 flashes per minute”.
A decision from the council on whether or not to grant approval for the turbine should have been taken on January 6, but the row has delayed a decision – especially as the site is less than 2,000ft from the edge of the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Natural England has objected, saying: “The proposed turbine would be a modern intrusion of an industrial nature detracting from the natural forces that shape the landscape of the area of outstanding natural beauty, diminishing its feelings of antiquity, wildness, tranquillity and remoteness and appearing to be at odds with the scale of the landscape.”
Somerset-based developers Murex Energy Ltd said the proposed turbine was about 50ft lower than one rejected three years ago and was “consistent with guidelines on noise and landscape”.
The firm added: “The application provides considerable community benefit over and above the contribution the proposal would make to the generation of renewable and low carbon energy, a material consideration that should be given considerable weight.”
To date there has been only one letter of support from a neighbouring landowner.
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