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Friday, 25 October, 2002, 12:48 GMT 13:48 UK
Protesters target wind farm plans
How the wind farm will look from Sker Point - the nearest turbine is 6.1km away
Plans of how the wind farm will look are on display
Local people opposing plans to build one of the UK's biggest wind farms off the south Wales coast met on Friday.

Residents in Porthcawl gathered at Rest Bay to highlight their opposition to the proposed 30-turbine site at Scarweather Sands.


This demonstration is to ask the developers not to destroy the very environment they claim they are trying to protect

Simon Tucker, SOS Porthcawl

SOS Porthcawl was set up by campaigners in the town who say the wind farm will adversely affect the holiday resort, which attracts surfers and tourists from all over the UK.

The demonstration coincides with a public consultation into the project by developers United Utilities Green Energy.

Four-times British surf champion, Simon Tucker said there was a lot of feeling against the proposals within the town.

"This demonstration is to ask the developers not to destroy the very environment they claim they are trying to protect," he said.

Mr Tucker said the turbines, which are taller than the Statue of Liberty in New York, will destroy the panoramic views and also have an impact on the sea.

Surfer at Porthcawl
Porthcawl is a popular spot for surfers

"The turbines will change the shape of the sandbanks and the waves," he said.

"If the waves are changed and people stop enjoying the sport because of the turbines then the town is going to lose out," he said.

The company behind the 100m scheme say the turbines, which stand 135m above sea level, will generate enough power for 86,000 homes during its 20-year life.

The site, which is to the west of Porthcawl, is approximately four miles from the nearest household.

Mr Tucker said a petition against the plans had already collected more than 5,000 signatures.

"I just hope that the developers will realise that a lot of people living in Porthcawl don't want the wind farm," he said.

Turbines
Thirty turbines are planned off Porthcawl

A spokesman for United Utilities said the company was disappointed that some members of the community had already decided the development would have a negative impact on Porthcawl.

"We are carrying out full coastal surveys looking at any possible impact of the wind farm on the surf and coastal processes," he said.

"Importantly, initial results show that there will be no impact on the surf at Rest Bay.

The location is one of 18 around the UK coastline which have been made available by the Crown Estate.

The government is aiming to provide 10% of the UK's energy from renewable sources by 2010.


More from south east Wales
See also:

11 Oct 02 | Wales
02 Oct 02 | England
27 Sep 02 | England
11 Sep 02 | England
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