Mullacott 'just like Thurrock!'

SIR - It is difficult to imagine a more hideous and inappropriate greeting to visitors and tourists coming into Ilfracombe than the sight of two wind turbines taller than Nelson s Column. They will permanently disfigure the landscape and spoil scenery t

SIR - It is difficult to imagine a more hideous and inappropriate greeting to visitors and tourists coming into Ilfracombe than the sight of two wind turbines taller than Nelson's Column.

They will permanently disfigure the landscape and spoil scenery that has been unwrecked for thousands of years, that is, until British Telecom decided to build their machines there.

The plan is to site them at Mullacott Cross, which will no doubt after their construction be reclassified as an area of Outstanding Industrial Ugliness for the area will then have all the aesthetic appeal of Thurrock, in Essex, that ghastly expanse of wasteland that is perhaps the scruffiest area in the United Kingdom, horrendous with its pylons, overhead cables, service roads and barbed wire enclosures.

Is that what we want in the West country? It seems that we do. Once they have been installed the turbines will be everywhere and inescapable. Driving from Ilfracombe to Lynton will be like passing through an orchard of revolving metal.


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British Telecom does not care about Devon. It is only interested in profits and returns to shareholders. It will host pretty presentations, full of ecobabble and greenspeak, and try to convince the locals in village halls that all BT is doing is generating cheap electricity for telephones and communication networks, but do not be fooled.

Nobody will get a penny off their phone bill or internet connection. Nobody will get cheaper electricity. All they will get are giant whirring towers, whining with a constant pulse that will drive animals mad and cause birds to scatter. The turbines will be an oppressive reminder that big corporations will dump their hardware anywhere they want to, and to hell with those who have to look at it or live near it.

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The smartly dressed and attractive personnel at the exhibitions will not tell anyone about the disadvantages of their concrete towers. That's because they are highly paid public relations staff who are well versed in selling unpopular schemes to gullible and trusting members of the public for whom they really care nothing.

The turbines will kill the tourist trade. Who will want to see these machines cluttering up the horizon? Does anyone want to rent a cottage next to a constantly thudding windmill of steel? Would anyone want a view of a wind farm from their caravan?

Once the tourists have gone, cash will have to be generated alternatively, and that will be by industry. We could see a car plant built on Exmoor or Dartmoor, and don't forget that these parks were once dedicated industrial areas. They could be returned to heavy industrial use by the simple use of a Parliamentary Act, and it has been done before with tin mines and manufacturing plants.

Don't think that a cash strapped government won't try it, because it will, and it will not care about local objections. The only green places left in the country will be those formerly occupied by the coal industry. What an about turn to contemplate!

This is not the People's Republic of China. People do not have to tolerate big government and big business stamping all over them and getting their own way. They can object by protesting against these schemes and help prevent the uglification of Devon.

Dave Griffin, Ilfracombe

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