A COALITION has been set up to fight proposals to build 24 large-scale wind turbines close to the southern boundary of Exmoor National Park.

The Rural Exmoor Alliance is made up of The Exmoor Society, Three Moors Campaign and The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), all of which condemn proposals to put up the energy generators.

Energy giant Npower hopes to build up to nine 103m wind turbines at Batsworthy Cross, Devon Light & Power wants to construct two 100-metre turbines at Cross Moor, Airtricity hopes to put up to nine 105-metre turbines at Three Moors and Coronation Power is trying to build four 110-metre wind turbines at Bickham Moor.

A public inquiry into the proposals at Three Moors and Bickham Moor is set to start next week.

The Exmoor Society, which claims the turbines would have a “detrimental impact” on the park, is now calling on the public to help support a “fighting fund” to help fund the campaign to stop their construction.

A society spokesman said the fund had been generously supported by members opposed to the plans, funding a set of photo-montages into the turbine’s visual impact and expert evidence by a landscape architect, who will appear at the inquiry.

But the group is now looking for more cash to help continue its campaign.

“Exmoor as a national park is a jewel in the crown of our countryside because of its wilder landscape that gives the perception of being unchanged for centuries.

“It could be seen as cultural vandalism to impose industrial turbines on the dubious benefit of providing a small amount of unreliable electricity.

“The society’s war chest for fighting this inquiry is now depleted and is asking for support from anybody who does not want to see this rare landscape destroyed.”

The public inquiry for the Bickham Moor and Three Moors applications will be held at South Molton Assembly Rooms from Tuesday, June 8, at 10am, and runs for four weeks, Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 5pm.