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Campaigners fear plans for giant turbine could ruin skyline

Campaigners fear a giant wind turbine could be a blot on the landscape and ruin views from Plymouth.

A website has been set up in opposition to plans for a 67-metre-high wind turbine to be built off Withnoe Lane between the villages of Freathy and St John, in Southeast Cornwall.

Plans for the turbine to be built at the beauty spot were on show to the public in St John and Freathy yesterday.

A landscape and visual assessment report concluded that the turbine could potentially be a “background landscape feature” visible in clear conditions from viewpoints such as the Hoe and Mount Batten.

But the report said the effect would be of ‘very low magnitude’ and slight significance’.

The plans, expected to be submitted next month, are a joint venture between local farmer David Turner and renewable energy co-operative Community Power Cornwall.

If the plans are approved, Mr Turner, whose family has farmed land on the Rame Peninsula since 1597, will own a 75 per cent stake in the wind turbine.

The community would have the chance to invest in the other 25 per cent through Community Power Cornwall.

A community support package would also be set up to the value of £10,000 a year for a set period of 20 years and contractors from the area would be enlisted to build the turbine.

Speaking at a public consultation held in Freathy, Mr Turner, aged 52, said: “All the power that is generated will go into the local line so it will all be used here.

“The contractors who build it and do the work will also be local so almost everything will stay on the [Rame] Peninsula therefore it is good for everyone.

“Some people are positive about it but obviously there are people who are absolutely against it but we can’t please everybody.”

One resident who had concerns over the plans was fisherman Richard Baker who said he would prefer the company to build a solar farm instead of a wind turbine.

The 54-year-old, who lives in Freathy, said: “I’m concerned about the sight of it.

“It’s a beautiful place with beautiful views and I spent a lot of money buying my home.

“I’m just confused why they want to put one turbine up when they could have a small solar panel farm that nobody would see and that would produce more electricity.”

Mr Baker said he was also concerned about the level of noise the turbine would create.

He said: “Apparently they are quite noisy.

“I’m in favour of renewable energy but anybody who lives somewhere where they are going to put a wind turbine on their back doorstep is bound to be in opposition to it.”

Another member of the public viewing the plans at the consultation said she was in favour of the proposal.

Lorna Ayton, a retired teacher from Looe, said if a wind turbine was built near her home it “would not bother” her at all.

“I’m quite in favour of renewable energy and I don’t see anything wrong with wind turbines,” said the 64-year-old.

“To me it’s not a blot on the landscape; I think they are a very nice thing and the fact they are green is wonderful.

“It would not bother me at all.

“It’s a community benefit and I think that’s exactly the way we should be going.”

The plans are expected to be submitted next month.

To comment on the proposal, visit www.cep.org.uk/consultations