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Altarnun residents united in their rage at turbine plans

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: February 26, 2014

Altarnun residents united in their rage at turbine plans
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A CHAMPION sheep breeder's plans to erect a 130ft wind turbine near Launceston have sparked anger from councillors and heritage organisations.

Gwen Renfree, who has won championships at both the Cornwall and Devon county shows, wants to put a single 39.6m (131ft) high 75kw turbine in a moorland field at Tregrenna, Altarnun.

But local residents and English Heritage have lodged objections to the plan due to its impact on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and an insufficient heritage assessment. The matter will be decided by Cornwall Council's east area planning committee at Liskeard on Monday.

Wind and renewable energy consultant Tristan Mackie, speaking for Mrs Renfree, said the application was being made to support the government policy of renewable energy generation and to sustain the income of the farm.

Cornwall Council planners say they have concerns over the application.

"Given the siting of the turbine and its proximity to the AONB, particularly Fox Tor, it is considered that the turbine would appear as an incongruous and harmful form of development which detracts from the natural beauty and character of the AONB. "Secondly, the heritage assessment is considered to be inadequate," officers said in their report.

English Heritage has concerns about the cumulative impact of wind energy schemes on the historic landscape.

"However, we recognise the vital role terrestrial wind farms play in meeting government targets for the production of energy from renewable sources," they said.

The heritage organisation says that under the National Planning Policy Framework it is a core planning principle to conserve heritage assets in a manner appropriate to their significance.

"We would advise that the application should be refused or resubmitted including a robust assessment. There are a number of high grade listed buildings and sensitive Scheduled Monuments that have the potential for their settings to suffer substantial harm from these proposals."

The Cornwall AONB unit also objects to the application because the turbine would be in the direct line of view of all people travelling eastwards along the A30 and would be a prominent feature in the first close view of the Bodmin Moor AONB which straddles the A30.

From the A30 to the east of Lewannick the entire tower and blades would be visible on rising fields from only a mile away.

Bodmin Moor has an extensive range of visible remains of historic landscapes.

These range from early Neolithic tor enclosures, Bronze Age roundhouse settlements as well as field systems, barrows and standing stones.

Objections have been received from 15 residents as well as the Camel Valley and Bodmin Moor Protection Society, the Campaign to Protect Rural England Devon branch, and the East Moor Protection Group.

A petition of objection was signed by 38 residents.

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