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Turbines causing turbulence

Members of the Josey Hill Residents Association once again had the opportunity to air their grievance against the proposed Barbados Light & Power (BL&P) wind turbine project.

This time, they took their objection to the Chief Town Planning Officer’s Office at the Town Planning Department, The Garrison, St Michael, on Wednesday morning.

Eleven wind turbines are due to be erected and in service sometime in 2009. Civil works are expected to begin in 2008 followed by the installation of equipment.

“The residents don’t want them there,” explained Caswell Franklyn, spokesperson and consultant for the Josey Hill residents. “So we are here to present our objections to the Chief Town Planner.”

Franklyn said the residents were concerned about the proximity of wind turbines to their homes.

“They want to put them 350 metres from the homes of the residents. This is unfair and unreasonable. Research has shown that in other countries they have set up the wind farms a minimum of two kilometres.

“There are also a lot of health issues like mental illness, sleep deprivation and Vibro-Acoustic Disease caused by the low frequency noise produced by the wind turbines being placed too close to people’s homes,” he said.

However, results from an environmental impact assessment, carried out between May and August last year, and shared with the residents of the area, concluded that “the project was not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects given implementation of recommended mitigation measures”.

The project would contribute 2.6 per cent of Barbados’ projected energy needs in 2009 – enough to meet the average annual needs of 9 275 homes while saving $5.6 million per year.

Chief marketing officer Stephen Worme said these issues were investigated and submitted by the BL&P to the Town Planning Department.

While Chief Town Planner, Mark Cummins confirmed the application was still being processed, Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners president, Dr Carlos Chase, told the SATURDAY SUN that they too have been actively pursuing the matter.

“We are very keen to get this resolved. We communicate frequently with the residents’ association, exchanging information, and we involved PAHO, asking for assistance which they agreed to help.

“But for them to do a full environmental impact study, the Ministry of Health would have to give permission. We also wrote to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Joy St John, asking for a meeting to get this matter resolved. We sent the letter three weeks ago. So we are awaiting permission from the Government and we are awaiting a reply from the CMO,” he stated.

By Tracy Moore


21 July 2007