It can be hard to visualise how 100 metre (3 28 feet) tall wind turbines would appear in the landscape. One way of understanding this would be to compare them with other tall local structures. The tower of St Mary’s Church in Totnes is, according to its website, 37 metres (120 feet) tall while the tower of St Andrew’s Church in Harberton is said to be 24 metres (78 feet). So the proposed turbines would be about three times the height of Totnes Church and about four times the height of Harberton Church. The diameter of the rotors would be about twice the height of Totnes Church. Why not stand outside one of those buildings and work out just how big these structures would be?
- Visual impairment of the landscape at close range (affecting certain properties), medium range (affecting views from the nearby A381, Totnes and Harberton) and longer range (from nationally significant viewpoints such as Dartmoor and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the South Hams some of which are only 2 kilometres from the site).
- Loss of quality of life for local people who value peace and quiet and the natural beauty of the landscape. If the turbines are over 300ft high, they will be visible and audible from considerable distances and may blight the lives of people who live and work within that area.
- Effect upon tourism and local economy. Tourists visit Totnes and the surrounding area in part because of its unspoilt natural beauty. If they decide to holiday elsewhere instead, many local businesses could fail, (including, perhaps, village stores and pubs), and many local jobs could be lost. Wind turbines will need to be equipped with warning lights for aircraft, thus causing light pollution in the night sky.
- Is this the thin end of the wedge – will many more giant turbines be installed in the South Hams if a planning precedent is set at Luscombe Cross.