Green energy supporters join in wind farm protest rally
A mass protest against the proliferation of wind turbines in Cornwall was gate-crashed by campaigners in favour of renewable energy on Saturday.
Hundreds of people on both sides of the debate descended on Lemon Quay in Truro during peak morning shopping hours wielding placards during what was a peaceful demonstration.
More than 100 people had joined a protest through the city organised by opponents to wind turbines and solar farms, in opposition to what the groups said is a lack of strategic direction from Cornwall Council.
However, they were joined by dozens of others in favour of renewable energy arguing the need to step away from fossil fuels as a main source of energy has never been clearer.
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But despite their differences, Danny Mageean, co-founder of Cornwall Protect, who organised the anti- turbine protest, said the two groups are not entirely separate in their standpoints.
"In some ways it was an awareness raising event, and it was good publicity," he said. "We feel Cornish residents are sleep-walking into what could be a disaster.
"But we are not attacking renewable energy, we really need a debate where everyone decides what is the best thing to do."
Those in protest argued –turbines, many more than 100 metres tall, were too noisy and have a detrimental impact on people living nearby.
However, Tim Andrewes, the first Green Party member on Cornwall Council, highlighted the benefits he felt renewables brought to the local economy.
He said: "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.
"The urgent need to switch away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy sources has never been clearer."