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Fears raised over ‘band’ of giant wind turbines around Dartmoor  

Credit:  Dartmoor National Park Authority is opposing two sites near the eastern edge of the protected landscape | Dartmoor flags up concerns over turbines plan | By Edward Oldfield | 2 FEB 2022 | www.devonlive.com ~~

The guardians of Dartmoor are objecting to plans for wind turbines in the nearby Devon countryside which could be twice the height of Exeter Cathedral.

Concerns have been raised about the impact of giant steel towers in the peaceful ancient landscape close to the eastern border of the national park.

There are fears that plans for renewable energy sites could create a “band” of turbines around the boundary.

The sites are among 27 put forward as options for consultation by Teignbridge Council as part of an update to its local plan.

Members of the Dartmoor National Park Authority have objected to two locations south of the A30 near Tedburn St Mary – north-west of View Farm and south-west of Staddon Road.

Both sites have been proposed as areas for two-megawatt wind turbines.

As an example of the type of turbines which could be used, a 2MW onshore wind turbine design produced by General Electric has blades with a diameter of 127m on an 89m hub, or options for 116m blades on hubs from 80m to 94m high.

The towers of Exeter Cathedral are 44m high, less than half the height of Big Ben, the clock tower at the Houses of Parliament, at 96m.

A single 2MW installation can power around 1,000 homes, with energy produced from the rotor blades being turned by the wind.

Supporters of wind and solar power say there needs to be a big increase in the number of installations to replace the use of fossil fuels in power generation, helping to reduce carbon output and tackle global warming.

A report to the national park authority described the area around Tedburn St Mary as an intricate, ‘patchwork’ landscape of productive farmland, woods, small settlements and rural lanes.

It is “gently rolling” with small streams, bands of woodland and grasslands, and medieval field patterns on lower slopes and valley floors, with patches of rough grazing and traditional orchards. The scattered villages, hamlets and farmsteads are linked by a network of winding lanes.

The report said: ”There are very few modern vertical structures in this landscape and the introduction of wind turbines will have an impact on the character of the local landscape and the setting of the National Park.

“This is a tranquil landscape and turbines are dynamic features that will impact on the perception of tranquillity.”

An objection was put on hold for other option sites for 2MW wind turbines near Tedburn St Mary, subject to receiving more detailed information. They are on land west of Tedburn, Ducks Brook, and West of Downhouse Farm.

The report said: “Turbines on these sites may be visible from the National Park, but the distance of the sites from the National Park boundary will reduce their visual impact.

“Whilst it may be possible to introduce small scale turbines into this landscape without them causing significant harm, the level of harm will depend on siting, size and numbers of turbines introduced onto the land.

“There is a risk of creating a band of wind turbines surrounding the boundary of the National Park and consideration has to be given to cumulative impact.

“The introduction of turbines will have an impact on the character of the landscape, but the impact can only be assessed when there is some understanding of size and scale of the proposal.

“There is the potential for wind turbines on these sites to have an impact on the setting of the National Park and in the absence of detail regarding the scale of turbines or clearer evidence regarding landscape impact on these sites, DNPA would place a holding objection against the identification of these sites.”

Teignbridge Council will consider responses to the consultation which closed on January 24..

Source:  Dartmoor National Park Authority is opposing two sites near the eastern edge of the protected landscape | Dartmoor flags up concerns over turbines plan | By Edward Oldfield | 2 FEB 2022 | www.devonlive.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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