June 16, 2014:
It must have been the most-photographed Blimp in the world on Saturday when it flew over Broomford Manor estate, moored barely 75 metres away from the intended site of a 77m high wind turbine on neighbouring West Down Farm. Arranged by the Jacobstowe and Exbourne Wind Turbine Action Group (jacex-wtag perhaps is slightly easier!) the event aimed to demonstrate the scale of the planned turbine and its visual impact around the area. Broomford Manor owners Jim and Jayne Egan allowed the Group to fly the Blimp from a field right next to the proposed site of the turbine and local residents turned out in force to support the anti-turbine cause. The photo-opportunity - with the Blimp wound down to ground level naturally! - demonstrated the breadth of that support. That's Jim in the centre of the picture. The event, which included a comprehensive display of facts and figures about wind turbines, was open all day and we're trying now to find out how many turned up overall. Afterwards, we drove to some of the viewpoint hot-spots in and around Jacobstowe, Hatherleigh and elsewhere to photograph the blimp from different locations. Some of the results surprised even us. Those pictures will be online shortly along with, we expect, loads more from the many other people who went on the same pilgrimage!
DON'T FORGET: the turbine proposed for Heane Farm, Runnon Lane near Hatherleigh - it's also 77m high - was submitted to the planners on June 1st so it's en route to a decision within weeks. You can read the planning documentation here and we urge you to do so (if you can stand it) because it's a great way to learn how developers handle projects like this! There's a public meeting on Tuesday June 24th in Hatherleigh Community Centre at 7pm (see story above).
PS: CPRE has just sent us this picture, which could be a warning.