The threat to lifeline ferry routes from wind farm developments has not gone away – and pressure needs to be kept up on the energy firms.
That’s the message from the Speaker of the House of Keys Steve Rodan who has applauded the success of Isle of Man Newspapers’s ‘Don’t Cut Us Off’ campaign.
So far more than 1,000 petitions containing some 1,320 names have been signed by our readers, urging energy giant Celtic Array to abandon its plans for a North East wind farm scheme – a development that would cut straight across the Steam Packet’s Liverpool and Heysham routes.
Mr Rodan, who is seeking the support of UK parliamentarians to oppose wind farm developments in Irish Sea shipping lanes, told the Examiner: ‘Wind farm developers in the Irish Sea must be left in no doubt about how strongly people in the Isle of Man feel about possible interference to our vital shipping lanes.
‘It is important that the pressure continues to be kept on.
‘Any deferral of present plans by Celtic Array is precisely that – a deferral; the threat has not gone away.
‘The massive petition by readers is of great importance in demonstrating strength of opinion in the island, and Isle of Man Newspapers are to be warmly congratulated for organising it.’
The government says it has welcomed a decision by energy giant Celtic Array to defer a decision to build a wind farm in the north east zone.
But the company insists nothing has changed – no timescale was given at the outset and no plans will be put forward for at least another year
At Celtic Array’s public exhibition about its proposed Rhiannon wind farm, which is sited further to the souther, head of development Laura Jeffs told the Examiner: ‘We have an intention to build in the NE zone but we don’t know where, when or how much.
Morecambe and Lunesdale MP David Morris has tabled an early day motion in the House of Commons about the proliferation of wind farms in the Irish Sea. It has so far elicited the support of seven MPs.
Mr Rodan is urging Isle of Man residents to ask friends and family across to write to their MP to sign the Early Day Motion.
He also intends to table a resolution at the next British Irish Parliamentary Assembly conference, taking place in Donegal in March, seeking the support for the Isle of Man in opposing wind farms in the Steam Packet shipping lanes.
Early Day Motions are formal motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons. Although very few are actually debated, they allow MPs to draw attention to an event or cause.