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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 December 2005, 09:16 GMT
Turbine firm in community pledge
Den Brook Valley
Den Brook Valley: Opponents say tourism will be affected
A company which wants to build wind turbines in west Devon's Den Brook Valley is offering up to 30,000 a year for community projects.

Renewable Energy Systems (RES) is offering about 1,500 a year per megawatt created by the turbines, which works out at 27,000-30,000.

West Devon planners are due to consider the proposal for nine turbines in the next two months.

Opponents say the money will not alter the turbines' "devastating" affect.

I don't think people are that easily bribed
Rachel Ruffle, RES

RES says the money is not a bribe, but a way of giving something back to the community.

RES project manager Rachel Ruffle told BBC News: "This is perfectly standard practice. Housing developers build playgrounds, supermarkets do road calming schemes.

"Most people have made up their minds and I don't think people are that easily bribed. It's not an awful lot of money."

The turbines will stand 120m (394ft) high to the tips of their blades and will provide enough electricity for 10,000 homes.

RES, which operates windfarms in Europe, the US and Asia, developed the 15-turbine windfarm at Carland Cross in Cornwall and owns the 15-turbine Four Burrows windfarm near Truro.

It has spoken to North Tawton Development Trust to find out what it wants, but opponents Den Brook Valley Wind Turbine Action Group say four other parishes are affected.

Chairman Maureen Thomson said: "30,000 is very little indeed spread between them when you consider the devastating affect on the environment.

"The whole economy of the region which has been built on diversification of farming to tourism will be affected."


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