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Campaigners call for 'moratorium' on wind turbines in Cornwall
11:00am Sunday 18th May 2014 in Cornwall
The Cornwall branch of the Campaign for Protection of Rural England is calling for a 'moritorium on land wind turbines in the county.
Cornwall CPRE has publicly objected to a proposed large scale wind farm development at Week St Mary, by the Wiltshire company Good Energy.
The group's primary concern was the visual impact of the installation on the surrounding landscape which includes three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), saying that the 11 125 metre windmills, "would be as tall as a forty storey building" on a site that covers 125 acres.
They add that a public meeting held by the Cornwall Council Strategic Planning Committee on Tuesday May 13 concerns at the meeting included the negative effect on house prices, tourism, traffic congestion and the "environmental cost of filling this greenfield site with concrete and steel".
“We object to this proposal primarily on grounds of the acute landscape and visual impact," said CPRE Cornwall spokesman, Orlando Kimber.
“This is clearly an industrial development in a rural area.”
“We’re grateful to those Cornwall councillors who have underlined their support of democratic process by their attendance at this public meeting. We understand that as a county, we’ve already met our statutory commitment to renewables. We therefore ask the Council to call for a moratorium on all on-shore wind turbines; to review their energy policy in the light of rapid developments over the past five years; and to communicate better with the public rather than make decisions “behind closed doors.”
Good Energy say that they believe it’s an "ideal site for a wind farm", with it situated in a natural bowl in a contained landscape with good road access, connection to the electricity grid and a good wind resource.
The wind farm would remain in place for 25 years after which it would be decommissioned and the site returned to its current use.
The company adds that current proposals include a community fund to support local initiatives and the offer of local dual fuel and electricity tariffs (20 per cent cheaper than Good Energy’s standard regional tariffs) to all households within 5km of the wind farm. Together, the fund and local tariffs will be worth a minimum of around £125,000 per year.
The company also wants to build a "unique outdoor learning centre on the wind farm site enabling children to experience renewable energy, farming and wildlife thriving side-by-side".
Good Energy has also said it is "committed to using local contractors and other suppliers wherever possible during the construction and operation of the wind farm, adding: "As a result of these commitments, we believe The Big Field Wind Farm will deliver a lasting positive legacy."
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