THE Dartmoor Preservation Association has learned, from two different sources, of plans for yet another wind farm just outside the boundary of the Dartmoor National Park, this one on Lee Moor near Shaugh Prior and Wotter. West Coast Energy, during the exhibition at Sourton about their proposed wind farm at Yelland, admitted to one of our members that they were drawing up plans for another development in the Shaugh area. They also said that they planned to build about a hundred more turbines around the edges of Dartmoor in the next few years; and they are only one of several companies prospecting around Dartmoor. This developer has also said that they expect to be refused at the local planning committee, but they are confident that they will win at appeal, as they did at Bradworthy in North Devon. And it is a disturbing coincidence that this same company is in the spotlight at the public inquiry now underway, seeking approval for a 27-turbine factory at Whinash in Cumbria, on the edge of the Lake District National Park. This all confirms the DPA?s worst fears about the proliferation of these hugely intrusive giants, which could very soon be encircling Dartmoor. It shows that Yelland, and Lamerton, Goveton and North Tawton, are the first attempts to get a foot in the door and to set the precedent. Everything we hear proves that this is the start of a ?gold rush? of wind companies chasing over-generous subsidies, with no concern for local opinion or the tourist economy in Devon. However, more and more people are now questioning the contribution wind power can make, either to the nation?s needs for renewable energy or to reducing CO2 emissions. The tiny benefits they offer are far outweighed by the damage they will do to Devon?s landscape, our most valuable tourist attraction. Turbines are not saving the planet, but they will wreck the landscape! Is that what we in Devon want? Anyone who values Dartmoor (or the tourist economy that has grown up around it) must voice their opposition to these monsters, or they will soon be jostling the moor on all sides. Our National Park and its surroundings must be conserved for our children and grandchildren, as well as for the enjoyment of all today, residents and visitors alike. Jonathan Cardale Chief executive Dartmoor Preservation Association ONCE more I have to take issue with the misguided enthusiasts for windpower, who see aerogenerators as the saviour of the nation from pollution (Letters, April 21). 1. They are not only a major form of visual pollution, they can cause damage to various forms of wildlife and possibly livestock, as well as produce unacceptable noise over a wide frequency range which many people find disturbing. The space requirements for the installations are out of all proportion to the power produced from them. 2. The reason certain companies want to build them has little to do with protecting the environment, but everything to do with the subsidies eagerly thrown at them by the Government which has decided to improve its ?green? image without reference to either sound science or to economic realities. The cost of power derived from the technology is up to three times that of present generating systems. 3. The system is not capable of providing safe, secure supplies for more than about 80% of the time and standby power using fossil fuel very inefficiently has to be available to avoid parts of the grid going off line. 4. Those countries which started windpower projects before we did are now rapidly cooling on the idea. The Irish government has stopped further windpower installations in order to protect the stability and security of the grid. Geoffrey K Stowell The Laurels, The Down Bere Alston
?This is the start of a gold rush of wind companies?
Tuesday 26th April 2005 10:00 pm