OPPOSITION is building against plans by one of the big six energy firms which wants to re-power a North Cornwall wind farm with turbines which opponents fear will be up to 330 feet high.
EDF Energy Renewables has confirmed that it intends to submit proposals to Cornwall Council to replace the turbines at its Cold Northcott wind farm, on the edge of Bodmin Moor, alongside the A395 between Camelford and Launceston.
"Our plans are at a very early stage and no decision has been taken as yet on turbine height," an EDF spokesman said this week.
"However, for the purposes of the scoping report only, we have suggested a maximum height of 100m to inform our discussions with the local council but would stress that no decision has been made."
Cold Northcott wind farm, one of the first built in Cornwall in 1993 after Delabole, comprises 22 turbines with a total capacity of 6.6 megawatts.
The company says it is at the early stages of looking into the feasibility of re-powering the wind farm by replacing the current turbines on site with newer models. This could boost the amount of low carbon electricity which can be generated and would meet the highest standards of environmental design and performance.
EDF Energy Renewables has submitted a scoping report – a planning inquiry – to the council to start off the process to formally agree the content of any future planning application.
The report outlines the technical issues to be considered in the development of the proposed wind farm and seeks agreement with the council on the key environmental effects to be addressed in the environmental impact assessment.
EDF says it will be carrying out a public consultation with the local community next year.
However, local conservation bodies and parish councils are already questioning the possible scale of the re-powered wind farm.
Professor Fenella Wojnarowska, chairman of Tresmeer Parish Council, says the new turbines could be two and a half times the height of the present ones – 40 metres.
She is putting the subject on the agenda for the next parish council meeting and said: "The A395, the tourism entrance to the North Cornwall coast, is already becoming a turbine alley with more and more being erected.
"I think their present permission has another two years to run and if they put up 16 turbines which are 100 metres high it will ruin the wonderful views.
"I am concerned at the impact on the landscape and the knock-on effect on tourism. People don't want to come to a rural retreat and have turbines turning noisily.
"If a wind farm got the go-ahead a few miles away at Davidstow Woods, the view from the top of Roughtor would be ringed by turbines."