Countryside groups have joined forces to protest about a giant wind turbine at an opera house.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), The Council for National Parks (CNP), the Ramblers' Association (RA) and South Downs Society (SDS) have formed their coalition because they are worried the proposed 230ft turbine at Glyndebourne, will ruin the area.

Lewes District Council is set to make a decision on the turbine, which would provide Glyndebourne Opera House with much of its power needs, next month.

But in a determined show of opposition, the gang of four organisations, said the turbine, which would be built on downland near the opera house, would be "destructive".

Roy Haycock, Chairman of CPRE Sussex, said: "CPRE Sussex believes the South Downs are a priceless part of the beauty, tranquillity and heritage of England.

"It should not be squandered in return for an unreliable and severely limited supply of "green" energy when more efficient alternatives and locations are available."

Chris Smith, from the Ramblers' Association Sussex, said: "The unique landscape of the South Downs is enjoyed by thousands of people on a weekly basis.

"The destructive impact of this proposed turbine would spoil the very attributes so valued by residents and visitors alike.

"There are other alternatives which would be more appropriate, including buying electricity from environmentally sound fuel suppliers."

The coalition argue that while wind turbines have been built on similar land across Britain, most have been only 40 or 50ft tall and not on the "industrial scale" proposed by Glyndebourne Productions Ltd.

It described the turbine as likely to be visible from "hundreds of square miles" and "dominate the landscape", a point directly disputed by the owner of the Glyndebourne estate, Gus Christie.

He said: "Everyone needs to look at the bigger picture in the world in which they live. I think the societies which have criticised these plans are not doing this.

"I can understand why they have reacted in the way they have because their job is to protect the South Downs.

"But future generations will hold these people responsible for putting blocks in the way of crucial developments.

"Global warming is a fact. We've just had the hottest April on record and unless we do something now, we are up the creek.

"Critics have said you will be able to see it from a radius of 100sq km, but the truth is it will be very difficult to see from 5km. You will be able to see it from 1km, and we have not tried to hide that fact, but beyond 5km the impact will be negligible.

"My main reason for doing this is that I, and many other people in Glyndebourne, care passionately about the environment and we want to do our bit to reduce Glyndebourne's carbon emissions."

Letters of both support and opposition have been received by Lewes District Council ahead of the meeting which will decide the turbines fate.

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