Community divided by proposal to build 250ft wind turbine
Plans for a wind turbine in a Cornish village are threatening to tear apart the harmonious community.
The application for the proposed installation of a 250ft (77-metre) high turbine in Ladock promises to generate around a third of electricity used each year by homes and businesses in the parish.
Supporters say the community scheme will add about £500,000 to the Ladock community fund over the next 20 years.
But opponents have expressed concern about the scheme on land belonging to Councillor Philip Smith, chairman of Ladock Parish Council.
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Developers Low Carbon Ladock co-operative and Green Trust Community Interest Company carried out a survey of parish residents showing 56% of 308 people who responded were in favour.
Campaigners against the scheme, led by resident Sally Taylor, did their own simplified survey and found 74% of people were against the plans.
Oliver Baines, vice chairman of Ladock Parish Council, said the turbine had caused a "split in the parish".
He said: "It is fair to say there is quite a significant divide between those who support the turbine and those who are very strongly opposed."
Chris Jones, from Low Carbon Ladock, which was created in 2009 to promote renewable energy in the community, said: "With electricity costs going up and up and up, we are trying to help people reduce their energy bills."
Groups in favour of the turbine said it will generate about a third of the electricity used each year by homes and businesses in the parish and at least £30,000 per year for the local community.
Green Trusts CIC director, Jake Burnyeat said: "Wind turbine and solar installations are happening in Cornwall and more will come as we make the shift from generating energy with fossil fuels in big centralised power stations, to generating energy from renewable resources close to where it is consumed."
But Mrs Taylor said the issue had "divided the community" with a majority people against the plans.
She said: "Results speak for themselves as 74 per cent of voters say a resounding no to the wind turbine. If this turbine goes ahead it cannot possibly be called a community project when it divides the community."
A report last year by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) highlighted the "dramatic proliferation" of onshore wind turbines.
Cornwall was one of two counties nearing its 'capacity' for wind turbines with 94 operational turbines over 30 metres tall. CPRE said: "In many cases these are damaging valued landscapes and intruding into some of the most tranquil areas of England."