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Exford wind turbine divides opinion
REACTIONS to one of the largest wind turbines on Exmoor being given planning permission have been mixed.
Plans to put up a 19.25-metre horizontal turbine on a 15-metre mast at Ornott Farm, near Exford, received the go-ahead despite planning officers recommending owner Linley Williams’ application be refused.
Stephanie Oliver, from Timberscombe, said: “Though I do sympathise with Linley Williams, I am deeply concerned that Exmoor National Park planning committee is allowing such a large wind turbine to be plonked on Exmoor. I think it is an intrusion.
“This is a dangerous precedent and I hope it will not encourage others in the national park to do the same.
“Our energy bills have soared and people are already in fuel poverty, which restricts economic growth. Wind farms are not the answer – they do little to reduce carbon emissions as they need large-scale back-up to compensate for their downtime, they are subsidised by all of us and their lifespan is just 20 years.
“I urge anyone who is against the construction of the thousands of wind turbines which could be built in the future to sign the government e-petition on-line at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/22958 Every signature helps.”
Members of Exford Parish Council discussed the issue extensively during the application process.
Council chairman Mike Ellicott said: “The wind turbine proposed is not intrusive as it is not very visible from other properties.
“It is a project that will help sustain the farm and we want to do everything to keep farming on Exmoor profitable. The two main industries on the moors are farming and tourism, which create employment and bring money in, and we need to keep those as active and successful as possible.
“We are very much in favour of sustainable energy and while we wouldn’t like to see any vast turbine set-ups coming onto the moors, we feel small developments like this are something we can live with, providing they are strategically placed and not intrusive.
“We have one of the most beautiful national parks in Britain and we want to keep it that way but it needs to be sustainable – we have to live in the real world.”