Stop Pilliven Industrial Turbines


In December 2007, noise-monitoring equipment was unexpectedly placed at several  properties within the parish. The shocked residents were told it was part of an environmental impact assessment commissioned by NUON, a Dutch company, who have been invited to build four 100metre tall wind-turbines on Pilliven Farm, about a mile to the east of Witheridge Square.

Concerned local residents responded by organising a well-attended meeting in January 2008, and from this a campaign group was formed in order to oppose the possible development, naming themselves S.T.O.P.I.T. (Stop Pilliven Industrial Turbines). Although members of the group wholeheartedly support the development of renewable energy, STOPIT have a number of objections to the Pilliven scheme, which is to be named Franklyn Wind Farm.

STOPIT believe that industrial sized land-based wind-farms are often incorrectly sited in rural areas, and actually save little, if any, CO2 emissions. They cannot produce a reliable source of electricity as they produce no electricity without sufficient wind (about 20% of the time), and also have to be switched off in high winds. Because electricity cannot be stored, conventional power stations have to be kept running anyway as backup. Turbines require massive concrete foundations, and these, together with construction traffic, will certainly mean a considerable carbon ‘footprint’. In addition, massive turbine blades, similar in size to the wingspan of a Boeing747, will need to be brought down single-track lanes, bordered on each side by ancient Devon banks, which will surely be sacrificed if turbines are to be installed on farmland far from major roads. While STOPIT believe wind farms are not a green panacea to the UK energy crisis, energy firms, standing to gain massive profits would have us believe otherwise. Already consumers are facing steeply rising fuel bills, fuelled largely by the drive for building wind farms. STOPIT, along with many other groups nationally and internationally believe incorrectly sited wind-farms to be misguided and ill-conceived, or as Niels Gram of the Danish Federation of Industries put it,

“In green terms windmills are a mistake and economically they make no sense.”

STOPIT support renewable energy on a domestic or farm scale, and have no objection to sensitively sited micro generation systems, such as solar panels, and domestic scale turbines. However the scale of the turbines proposed for Pilliven, four times the height of Witheridge Church tower, are thought to be entirely out of keeping with a landscape composed largely of small grassy fields bordered by ancient Devon hedges and banks.

In summary STOPIT have the following objections to placing turbines at Pilliven.

  • Massive scale completely out of keeping with typical Devon landscape where small fields and ancient hedgerow provide a tranquil backdrop.
  • Many properties are likely to be affected by noise, which may also have health implications.
  • Industrial turbines are inefficient and highly intrusive.
  • Considerable concern about how massive turbine blades might be brought on site, given the very narrow, winding lanes, which are a feature of the locality.
  • Turbines have been shown to have a negative impact on property values.
  • Wind farms have a negative impact on wildlife.
  • Turbines mean increased fuel bills for all electricity consumers and will increase fuel poverty.
  • Negative impact  on tourism, a major source of income in north Devon.
  • There is no benefit to local residents in siting a windfarm within the parish.

Stopit is entirely funded by donation and the campaigning committee do so voluntarily.


You Decide.......
Do Industrial Wind Turbines offer a solution to our energy issues?
Read the various expert reports and form your own opinion.
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Industrial Wind Turbines