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Villagers fearful at second turbine bid

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: September 07, 2012

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CONCERNED St Neot parishioners have been faced with a second wind turbine application, this time only 200 metres from the nearest residential property.

The proposal – the second in three months – is for a 35-metre turbine at Luna Farm, only two fields from the previous site, at Great Tredinnick Farm in an Area of Great Landscape Value.

Campaign group Save Our Cornish Landscape says the World Health Organisation recommends turbines should be a minimum of 2km from homes.

However, local authorities are at liberty to impose their own rules.

Trerulefoot GP Amanda Harry said: "If turbines are too close to houses, some people suffer symptoms such as nausea, migraines, sleep deprivation, anxiety and depression."

Faye Wardle, a St Neot parish councillor but speaking in a personal capacity, criticised Cornwall Council for failing to take decisive action regarding turbines' proximity to homes.

"Cornwall Council is lagging behind," she said. "Lincolnshire County Council has recently announced that it will demand 2km between wind turbines and homes.

"England is already out of line with many countries in Europe."

A parliamentary Bill seeking to set a minimum distance is awaiting its second reading, and could take up to a year to be finalised.

She expressed concern that the Great Tredinnick Farm application, under consideration by Cornwall Council, could set a precedent for the proposal for Luna Farm.

"Precedent does carry a certain amount of weight," she said.

"It becomes a part of future consultations."

Ian Watson lives in nearby Mount, where planning consent is being sought for a 45m turbine at Bofindle Farm – 400m from his home, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

"The vast majority of residents oppose turbines too close to homes," he said.

"We're all agreed that green energy is a good thing but when it comes to wind turbines, this needs to be balanced with the impact on our landscape and the likely impact on the quality of life and health of residents."

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  • Demelza1978  |  September 10 2012, 9:45AM

    Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) are not a planning authority, and the LPAs within the council have refuted the county council remarks as not within local, regional and national policy. So Cornwall County Council should not be taking any lead from LCC. As for the 2KM set back requested, that is for commercial scale turbines, which stand at over 100m tall, not a domestic turbine at 35m. This is a true case of sensationalism and fear mongering. 'This is Cornwall' it is a disgusting piece of bigoted journalism.

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  • skj97  |  September 09 2012, 9:04PM

    In response to Cornishboy72, the key point here is that the proposed wind turbines are NOT beyond 500m of residential properties (the distance you suggest as appropriate), and furthermore noise disturbance has been shown to affect people's health when wind turbines are up to 1.5km away, so this IS an issue. I wholeheartedly agree that people are more likely to be concerned with these impacts when they themselves are at risk - but as you point out, many of the people objecting to these turbines are not directly affected, yet are still concerned because they have come to realise the real risks that others may be exposed to - so it is not just nimbyism as you imply. There is a bigger issue at sake here. Evidence that wind turbines do pose a health risk should not be ignored just because there are only a few people likely to be at risk for each new wind turbine built. How, in that case, does change ever happen? Equally important is recognising that one turbine is very different from several wind turbines being built in close proximity to each other or to a property. Cumulative impacts need to be considered and this is not happening in the current planning application process. It's important we, the public, are pro-wind turbines - green energy is a must for the UK - but we need to help the government/councils to set appropriate planning regulations for turbines so that individuals (particularly vulnerable groups) do not face health risks or noise disturbance unnecessarily and so the loss of natural landscapes views is minimised. At the moment, I do not believe the regulations are sufficient.

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  • cornishboy72  |  September 07 2012, 9:03PM

    As far as I'm concerned the health issues which people present as a genuine reason for opposition is a load of nonsense. Modern turbines are designed to reduce the noise they produce so that the end result at 500m is at nearly identical decibel levels to the background noise of a rural area at night so even if it is slightly closer the idea that these few extra decibels will cause depression and lack of sleep amongst other "numerous health issues" is absolutely nonsensical. The health issues as a whole has been found by studies to be in most cases a sort of reverse placebo effect in that if you feel like you are stressed/ill then you generally will get worse just because you think you are. If any "health issues" do arise then these as well could just be previous, long standing issues which these people complaining now have something to blame it on for the sake of complaining. With regards to the view issue, it's on private property with which the landowner should surely have a certain degree of freedom to do with as they wish. I fully accept that if this was on council owned land then there could indeed be cause for serious complaint but as it is privately owned then this should be taken into consideration by the planning committee. I'm also willing to bet that quite a lot of the complainers have no issue with wind turbines just as long as they aren't near themselves...this view, if repeated across the county would result in nothing being done to help a growing energy crisis and helping subsidise expensive energy bills. Finally, a good few of the people who have complained about this turbine in particular cannot see it or are not even remotely near it (i.e live up country), the only reason I can see for them complaining other than for complainings' sake is that it might ruin their view on the way to work which in any case they should be looking at the road ahead, particularly as at least one complainer has claimed the road is an accident blackspot. And by the way, I am local (within 2 miles of St Neot) in case anyone tries to say that i'm probably "from up country"

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  • norfolkboy14  |  September 07 2012, 4:35PM

    As applicants can appeal to the Government to reverse local decisions we need to get it onside, as well as councils and others, if we are going to stop these wind turbines being built. Are you disillusioned by rising electricity prices, over dependence on the "green" dream [especially uneconomical and inefficient wind farms] and the destruction of our countryside then please object to the Government at http://tinyurl.com/cajsyrf or by GOOGLING "E-PETITION 22958" and following the link. Please pass this message on to Councillors, friends, neighbours and anyone else you know to persuade them to sign up too. If you are really concerned about wind turbines please write a letter promoting this petition to your local Newsletter and to the Editors of your local newspapers.

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  • Martha  |  September 07 2012, 2:27PM

    FREE WIND TURBINES Pay Nothing, Do Nothing and let DC21 Wind Turbines do the rest... Who are these people? Where do they live? Why are local councils at liberty to impose their own views? Apart from the health issues, like all of us in St Neot opposed to these 'eyesores' blotting our beautiful landscape, I am extremely disappointed that the St Neot Parish Council agreed to such an inappropriate planning application.

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