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Community divided by proposal to build 250ft wind turbine

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 02, 2013

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Plans for a wind turbine in a Cornish village are threatening to tear apart the harmonious community.

The application for the proposed installation of a 250ft (77-metre) high turbine in Ladock promises to generate around a third of electricity used each year by homes and businesses in the parish.

Supporters say the community scheme will add about £500,000 to the Ladock community fund over the next 20 years.

But opponents have expressed concern about the scheme on land belonging to Councillor Philip Smith, chairman of Ladock Parish Council.

Developers Low Carbon Ladock co-operative and Green Trust Community Interest Company carried out a survey of parish residents showing 56% of 308 people who responded were in favour.

Campaigners against the scheme, led by resident Sally Taylor, did their own simplified survey and found 74% of people were against the plans.

Oliver Baines, vice chairman of Ladock Parish Council, said the turbine had caused a "split in the parish".

He said: "It is fair to say there is quite a significant divide between those who support the turbine and those who are very strongly opposed."

Chris Jones, from Low Carbon Ladock, which was created in 2009 to promote renewable energy in the community, said: "With electricity costs going up and up and up, we are trying to help people reduce their energy bills."

Groups in favour of the turbine said it will generate about a third of the electricity used each year by homes and businesses in the parish and at least £30,000 per year for the local community.

Green Trusts CIC director, Jake Burnyeat said: "Wind turbine and solar installations are happening in Cornwall and more will come as we make the shift from generating energy with fossil fuels in big centralised power stations, to generating energy from renewable resources close to where it is consumed."

But Mrs Taylor said the issue had "divided the community" with a majority people against the plans.

She said: "Results speak for themselves as 74 per cent of voters say a resounding no to the wind turbine. If this turbine goes ahead it cannot possibly be called a community project when it divides the community."

A report last year by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) highlighted the "dramatic proliferation" of onshore wind turbines.

Cornwall was one of two counties nearing its 'capacity' for wind turbines with 94 operational turbines over 30 metres tall. CPRE said: "In many cases these are damaging valued landscapes and intruding into some of the most tranquil areas of England."

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3 comments

  • AndyBee  |  February 08 2013, 9:52AM

    Whilst I sympathise with green initiatives and renewable energy, I find the siting of this huge monstrosity, and let me stress the size of this thing - as a previous commentator has put - this is bigger than the Cathedral in Truro, on land owned by the Chair of the Parish Council a bit too incestuous. Should imagine he'll soon be moving once it's built and once the community is further divided. "Supporters say the community scheme will add about £500,000 to the Ladock community fund over the next 20 years." - Yes they might well say that, but has an impact analysis been conducted to take account of the loss of value to property in the area, the loss of tourism in the area because of the blight of this construction?

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  • Tigger2  |  February 03 2013, 3:56PM

    The simple yes/no vote for the turbine by Sally Taylor was far easier for residents to understand than the initial multi questioned survey where the important question was lost in the text. No one is against green energy or wind turbines just against the siting of this one in the beautiful Ladock valley which is an amenity for residents and holidaymakers alike. The turbine is too big, being taller than Truro cathedral and too close to homes, its' siting on a slope which goes down towards the hamlet of New Mills is particularly disturbing with the recent turbine collapses. The intentions of Low Carbon Ladock are good in the fact that they are putting money back into community projects but this money is in fact our money as taxpayers. Where has the funding for planning consultants and planning applications come from? The profits from artificially high feed in tarriffs and constraint payments to shut down the turbine when the winds are too high and the national grid cannot cope with the energy being produced will be taxpayers money. With the strong feeling against this project it is not a community project.

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  • IanMacKinlay  |  February 03 2013, 1:41AM

    Look at these folks. A wind turbine actually disintegrating before your eyes, as it was filmed in Denmark. http://tinyurl.com/387dnp http://tinyurl.com/3xt5t5

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