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Wind farm start in Cornwall

Work has started on Britain's latest wind farm. Developer Ecogen is installing 11 Bonus 450 turbines from Denmark on its controversial site at St Breock Downs in Cornwall. The company was given the go-ahead to develop the site after a public inquiry looked into concerns that a wind farm would harm the character and appearance of the landscape which includes some prehistoric monuments nearby.

Ecogen is at pains to point out that the landscape has been greatly altered by human activity particularly over the last century. It has the corroboration of local archaeologists. "The modern landscape at St Breock Downs is a 20th century creation which has been ploughed flat, grassed over and fenced in recent years," says Steve Hartgroves from the Cornwall Archaeological Unit. "Obviously the turbines will affect the view, but we don't feel they will have an adverse effect on the archaeological value of the site."

Finance to build the wind farm is being provided by the company's American and Japanese backers -- SeaWest and Tomen Corporation. Ecogen, which produced 42% of all wind power in Britain last year, expects to have the turbines operating by June. St Breock will be Cornwall's fifth wind farm and Ecogen already has planning permission for another at Four Burrows near Truro.

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