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Wind turbine is bad for locals, tourists and military meeting is told

A proposed 67-metre-high wind turbine is unwanted by locals and would put off tourists as well as disrupting military operations, a meeting has heard.

Campaigners have voiced their opposition to proposals to build a wind turbine in South East Cornwall.

The controversial proposal could see the lone turbine built just off Withnoe Lane, between the villages of Freathy and St John.

Speaking at a public consultation held at Whitsand Bay Fort Holiday Park yesterday, park owner Rob Wintle said: “For me as a business owner, who has invested millions of pounds into the area, this turbine is a frightening prospect.

“I have been here through two recessions and this is the single biggest threat to the business we have had.”

He added that the holiday park had conducted an independent survey among its lodge owners and visitors, which revealed the proposed turbine would have a “significant impact” on whether visitors decided to return to the area.

The plans, expected to be submitted this 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% stake in the wind turbine. The community would have the chance to invest in the other 25% through Community Power Cornwall.

In a proposal put together by Community Power Cornwall, it is said the joint venture will “provide a legacy of social, environmental and economic benefits for the local area” and make sure that “local people benefit from the rewards of developments in their area”.

Roy Hoskin, vice chairman of St John Parish Council, said: “Judging by the feedback we have received, local people are dead against it. We are only a little parish and the last thing we want to see here is a wind turbine. However, until the planning application goes in we cannot engage with the council or put any objections forward.”

Mr Hoskin added that a neighbourhood plan, consisting of the Rame Peninsula’s five parishes, is being put together and should be in operation by the end of the year or early next year.

Mike Ward, who has owned a lodge at the holiday park for just over eight years, said the proposed turbine would be just 6km from his front decking.

“I cannot think of a quieter valley as it does not have a main road running through it,” he said. “It is also the reason I decided to buy my lodge here because it is so beautiful. But this is not just about the park, it is about the whole Rame Peninsula.

“It is in an area of great landscape value and right on the edge of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. So whether you are local to this or not and interested in the Rame, then this proposal needs to be stopped.”

Mr Ward added he believes the turbine could have an impact on the regular aviation activity in the area, as the proposed site is flanked by HMS Raleigh and Tregantle Fort.

Bill Honey, from the Rame Against Wind Turbines action group, added: “We are going to fire up this group again for this proposal.”