An outspoken farmer who once described wind farms as a big con is planning to erect ten turbines on his land.
Ten years ago, Tony Brewington was one of the most vocal anti-wind farm protestors in North Devon. As the spokesman for a pressure group called BLOT – Bradworthy League Opposed to Turbines – he damned wind farms as "a blot on the landscape with no real practical use".
But now he has surprised some local people by agreeing to allow ten small turbines on his land at Dural Farm near Meddon.
The deal he has struck with turbine-maker Quiet Revolution is revealed in correspondence with Torridge District Council. But the former RAF air traffic control officer says he stands by his earlier criticism of large wind farms and says his small-scale scheme will not spoil the countryside.
Quiet Revolution has written to the district council in advance of a formal planning application. It says it has reached an agreement to locate ten turbines at Dural Farm, about a mile from Meddon village.
It says the turbines would be a maximum of 63 feet (21 metres) to the tip of the blade. Mr Brewington says they will actually be only 45ft (15m) tall. By comparison, the 22 turbines at Fullabrook near Barnstaple reach 330ft (110m).
Mr Brewington, who stood unsuccessfully as a Conservative candidate in the 2011 Torridge District Council elections, previously said of turbines: "The amount of electricity they produce is relatively small, but the damage they do to the environment is extraordinary."
This week he admitted: "It does sound a bit odd and I have had a few phone calls from people locally about it. But I have managed to put their minds at rest that I am not doing anything large-scale."
He said he still dislikes large wind turbines, but that he supports renewable energy and favours the use of tidal power, which is more predictable than wind.
Quiet Revolution says the ten turbines could produce up to 50kW of energy for 25 years.