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Plan to build 16 turbines will 'destroy Bodmin's beauty'

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: January 31, 2013

Brown Willy, the highest point on Bodmin Moor, from King Arthur's Down

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Plans for two new controversial wind farms affecting Cornish beauty spots are set to divide opinion.

The Duchy's historic "twin peaks" could soon be surmounted by plans for turbines on Forestry Commission land close to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The tips of the generators could inch past the Duchy's highest point, Brown Willy, and its equally famous cousin Roughtor, which crown the windswept Bodmin Moor.

Developers Community Windpower are set to announce fresh plans soon to build 16 turbines standing 426ft tall (130m) near Camelford, the company has said.

Proposals place at least one of the huge towers at an elevation of 952ft (290m) which would stand at 1,378ft (420m) above sea level, at least equalling if nor surpassing Brown Willy and climbing 65ft past Roughtor.

Campaigners believe the scheme – which will be similar to a £55 million project rejected by planners in 2010 – will "interrupt and destroy" a natural beauty spot which is nationally important for its Iron Age and Bronze Age settlements.

Jeremy Varcoe, vice-chairman of the Camel Valley and Bodmin Moor Protection Society, has questioned the decision of the Forestry Commission's plans to host up to eight of the turbines on its land, in Davidstow woods.

"They are obliged by law to have regard for the enhancement and protection of the AONB," he added. "It has tried to sell of large areas of forestry land despite being custodians and trustees and this is yet another example of its cavalier attitude and disregard for its responsibilities."

In a written reply to campaigners, the Forestry Commission argued its responsibilities under the Countryside and Right of Way Act did not override all other considerations.

It claimed its overall role is was "the delivery of government forestry policy and other policies, including those on renewable energy".

The Commission's governing body "fully endorsed the development of wind farms on the public forest estate" in 2010", it added.

In West Cornwall, a new turbine visible from every point across St Ives Bay could be installed off the coast of Hayle as early as 2015.

The single turbine, ten miles off the north coast, would be the first in the UK to be built on a floating platform and would sit above the pioneering Wave Hub.

Wave Hub Ltd is working with the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) – a part public, part private UK-based company – on the £25 million project.

John Pollard, Cornwall councillor for Hayle North and a cabinet member, said reaction to the plans would be "interesting" as it was "something of a departure" from the norm.

Hayle mayor Jayne Ninnes added: "I think it's a subject that will divide people."

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  • Vindpust  |  February 02 2013, 1:34AM

    'Community windpower'??? This is a privately-owned speculative development company which ought to be reported to the ASA for misleading the public.

    |   3
  • Colliecrazy  |  February 01 2013, 8:21AM

    Not on the moors. Why does it seem like these wind turbines are being erected in all the most people places?

    |   4
  • Colliecrazy  |  February 01 2013, 8:20AM

    Not on the moors. Why does it seem like these wind turbines are being erected in all the most people places?

    |   1
  • RobertJPowell  |  January 31 2013, 10:40PM

    that should read: not as NIMBY's - silly me not proof reading before posting!

    |   3
  • RobertJPowell  |  January 31 2013, 10:39PM

    For once I view those against these plans as NIMBY's but as sane individuals. This is a beautiful area that will be ruined by turbines, especially in this number. I'm going to get crucified for this but if we want cheaper electricity bills then the only answer is either tapping the gas fields either on the land or in the north sea (Surely Maggie didn't sell all the gas fields..) OR dare I say it, more Nuclear reactors...

    |   3
  • 2TheBeehive  |  January 31 2013, 10:01PM

    There is no reason to build these bl***y things, anywhere. They can use the gas fields in the North Sea to drill for Methane Hydrate. It will be cheaper and it is reliable.

    |   5
  • Jafr33  |  January 31 2013, 2:55PM

    We should start taking note of the names of Council members on the Planning Committees, and make sure that those who vote to ruin our countryside with these subsidy-harvesting machines get voted out of office at the first possible opportunity. Only then will they understand the contempt that many of us feel for their destructive policies.

    |   13
  • IvorWard  |  January 31 2013, 2:39PM

    Perhaps we could combine the two schemes and take "Community" (Ha-Ha) windpower's turbines out on the same raft and sink the bl**dy lot of them. That should save some CO2.

    |   11
  • Mice470  |  January 31 2013, 2:10PM

    Report from New Civil Engineer magazine today: "A £250,000 wind turbine collapsed in Bradworthy, North Devon in the early hours of Sunday morning due to 80km/hmph winds." We have also had high winds on Bodmin Moor as well!!

    |   10
  • cornishexile  |  January 31 2013, 1:48PM

    Where are the luddites and Captain Swing when you need them?!