Campaigners for and against wind turbines come face to face in Truro
Campaigners for and against wind turbines and solar energy came face to face during separate demonstrations on Truro’s Lemon Quay.
Residents from across Cornwall, including members of the Green Party and Friends of the Earth, turned out carrying placards carrying anti and pro renewable energy messages.
Those joining the rally against such schemes claimed they were ruining the county’s unique landscape.
They argued turbines, many hundreds of metres tall, were too noisy and had a detrimental impact on people living nearby. Others claimed solar farms took up too much land.
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St Endellion residents joined the demonstration upset at a 25,000 solar panel 40 acre scheme at Treswarrow Farm in Port Isaac, close to the Grade 1 English Heritage listed St Endellion Church.
Farmer, Mark Symons, of Trevanthon Farm, St Endellion and St Endellion Parish Council objected to the plans because of the loss of agricultural land.
Clean Earth Energy Limited (CEE), which submitted the application says it will provide a community fund of £6,000 per year for the 20 years; worth £120,000 in total, that the solar farm is expected to operate. A committee will be established to distribute the fund annually, to worthy causes within the local community.
Also on the Lemon Quay were campaigners bearing leaflets saying ‘ Please in my Back Yard’. They arrived in force to back renewable technology, which Chris Jones, of Ladock and Grampound Road Transition Group, said was long overdue.
Speaking at the end of yesterday's rally he said: “We are here to hand out cake and to gage peoples’ views on renewable energy.
“Cornwall needs to dramatically reduce its Co2 emissions. Cornwall needs to own the renewable energy we produce here.”
He also gave his support to Cornwall Council’s project to look at installing solar farms on its own land, including a site near Newquay airport.
Tim Andrewes, Green Party Cornwall Councillor, backed the demonstration in support of clean energy saying it would build a better future for our children: "The development of renewable energy sources in Cornwall is helping to strengthen the local economy by creating new jobs and wealth. It's really important that Cornwall doesn’t turn its back on these exciting developments, so it’s great to see that local people are standing up to be counted in support of clean energy.”
He also highlighted that following the recent report from the International Panel on Climate Change, that "the need to switch away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy sources has never been clearer."
Newquay Town councillor, Steve Slade, recognised that local communities were frustrated and felt their “wishes were being ignored by the planning process, as with the St Dennis residents campaign against the incinerator.”
He believed a dialogue needed to be opened up between conservation groups from all parts of the political spectrum, while discussing the huge benefits of the renewable energy sector to Cornwall.