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Complaints over wind turbine plan for land near Boscastle

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 24, 2012

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A community almost brought to its knees by Mother Nature could turn to the elements in a bid to help secure Britain’s energy future.

Five wind turbines are planned for the hills surrounding Boscastle, which was devastated by floods in August 2004, causing millions of pounds worth of damage which took months to repair.

But some residents are concerned by recent plans to build five new wind turbines in Lesnewth, a tiny community towards the top of the village in North Cornwall, where much of the rainwater collected before joining the rivers which weave down to the scene of the floods.

They say the turbines, which will measure up to 34m (110ft) to blade tip, will destroy “one of the last wild sanctuaries of Britain” if they are given the go-ahead by county planners.

Pat Thorne, one of the 30 people on Lesnewth’s electoral roll, said the proposals would contradict the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) management plan, adding a scar on the “wild, wet and windy but stunningly beautiful” natural landscape.

“The irony is not lost on me that Mother Nature threatened to destroy Boscastle and now the forces of nature are threatening to destroy this wild and protected environment once again,” said Mrs Thorne, a retired school teacher.

“Much of the rainwater that fell on August 16, 2004, fell here in Lesnewth, before joining the river Valency and travelling 700ft down to sea level at Boscastle.

“We are of course not against renewable energy, we do a lot ourselves at our property. What we are against is the proliferation of wind turbines, in an area like this.

“I am not sure that I will be able to hear them, or even see them, but others will and so, because there are very few of us in this area, we are joining together to shout as loudly as we can about this issue.”

Only one application for a turbine has been submitted, through Aspire Planning Ltd, with four more applications at the screening stage.

Commenting on the application, Eric Gill said he was concerned about “catastrophic” noise pollution “in what currently is a very peaceful” area. “The noise would not be disguised by traffic as we virtually have none; the only sound here is the sound of the countryside,” he added.

Lesnewth is popular with tourists, with the nearby St Juliot church attracting those keen to witness the architectural designs of Thomas Hardy, who worked on plans for the building’s restoration.

Lesnewth Parish Meeting group – it is too small to have its own parish council – said: “Our unique ancient and breathtaking landscape has such a high and precious value not only to us as residents but also by the very many tourists that visit the area who come just to embrace themselves in the quiet rural peace we have to offer.”

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  • Fotografo  |  October 12 2012, 2:33PM

    Dear Hensrule and IvorWard, "Dear CathyRozel, I am a documentary photographer living in Cornwall. I have been interested in the current affairs relating to the Installations of Wind Turbine around the County. I wanted to develop a photographic project around the theme and wanted to know if you would be kind enough to help me on this. I have followed some of your comments and it seems you re the ideal person to have a little chat about this situation. I want to explore some of the areas that may be affected and interview some of the residents involved in this whole scenario. Please if you would like to participate let me know. You can visit my website http://tinyurl.com/9fyvljl and contact me from there. Thankfully Artur"

  • IvorWard  |  September 25 2012, 3:42PM

    This is the aspire planning sales pitch from their website (public document): Want to know if your site is suitable for a wind turbine? Do you have concerns about obtaining planning permission? Do you want to make money from wind? Is your business spending £1000's per month on electricity? Do you need to comply with the Code for Sustainable Homes? Want honest independent advice without any sales pitch? Do you see Item 3 ? Do you see any mention of saving the planet or "detoxifying the planet? Follow the money.

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  • IvorWard  |  September 25 2012, 3:33PM

    There seems to be no limit to the greed of the carpetbaggers who are only interested in farming the huge subsidies that are available to those with no morality or conscience. ROC's, FITS, tax breaks are all a vile contrivance designed to further impoverish our pensioners and the poorest people of our community and to what purpose? None! The latest buzz word from Ed Davey is "Detoxification Strategy". How exactly is destroying our Countryside with bird mashers for miniscule amounts of over priced and over subsidised unwanted electricity classed as detoxification? We have one remaining industry in Cornwall and if we cover the County in Turbines we will have no industry. The only jobs left will be clearing up the carcases of dead hawks, starlings and bats from around the bases of these things. Wind factory companies are taking billions out of the economy and offering pathetic little bribes to local areas at the behest of Davey. All the large turbines are imported, the technicians come with them. A few temporary jobs are created around the local JCB driver to assuage the local council and these disappear over the border with the subsidies when the money making machines are up and running. Then the tourists leave as well and you are left with taxpayers, businesses and pensioners having what is left of their money sucked out of the County by these abortions. When you listen to the BS from the Renewables UK salesman remember that he has left his Range Rover at the office and driven to your meeting in the Toyota pious for effect. Wind companies are making up to 25% nett (!) profit on turnover just by farming the subsidies. When did your tourist business even make 5% profit ? Where do you think that money is coming from? You. Where do you think it is going? To Vestas in Denmark. To Siemens in Germany, and to every carpetbagger and landowner who sees a chance to get rich at your expense.

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  • hensrule  |  September 25 2012, 11:08AM

    Towering turbines are the last thing that this stunningly beautiful part of the world needs. They are not only inefficient, but also unreliable, and through the obscene subsidies paid to landowners and energy companies, are leading more and more people into fuel poverty. Don't be fooled, either, by the bribe of 'community benefit' as it is only some of your money back from soaring energy bills, and will never repay you for the drop in value or unsaleability of your home, the loss of this beautiful, tranquil landscape, and the potential impact on tourism. I know that any opposition to these plans will gain support from many people, not only in the UK, but around the world, who share local residents' love of this ancient and wild landscape.

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