A controversial wind turbine which had protesters in a spin has been officially opened.

There were cheers as Glyndebourne Opera House turbine, towering 67 metres above the South Downs, was switched on by veteran naturalist Sir David Attenborough.

But there were also a few jeers from a small knot of protesters who fought the proposal through years of planning debates and a six-day public hearing.

The opera house says the project will provide Glyndebourne with an almost total supply of renewable energy.

In November, the turbine was finally built after a long struggle against protesters who said the structure would be a blot on the landscape.

Sir David, who has been coming to Glyndebourne for 50 years, said the day celebrated “an arduous battle that has produced a victory.”

He said: “Through the ingenuity of science we have created something that, in my eyes, is a thing of beauty, like Concorde.

“For most of my lifetime most power came from burning coal, which killed hundreds underground and thousands overground from breathing in fumes and, in my memory, caused smogs where you could not see your hand in front of your face.

“I always have respect for the future – and this is the future. We are facing a power crisis and this is a step forward."

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