East Coast fishermen are becoming increasingly angry over plans to build a large wind farm near the mouth of the River Humber, because they say their views are being ignored.
The German owned power firm E.ON announced the development three months ago, which is planned for five miles off the Humber Estuary and close to shellfish and inshore fishing grounds.
The company is currently carrying out a series of exhibitions in the Hull and East Yorkshire coast area to explain their proposals and gauge public opinion.
But shell fishermen from Bridlington say that the survey was flawed and argue that E.ON are not taking into account the views of people who could be hardest hit – the fishermen themselves.
Steve Cowan, chairman of Bridlington and Flamborough Fishermen’s Association, said there was concern that fishermen were not being asked to take part in the survey. “It’s all well and good asking the people who are living ashore, but it is fishermen who will be the most affected and we weren’t invited to take part,” he said.
He added: “What matters is it is our livelihoods that are in jeopardy. In our opinion, that means the survey is flawed.”
The plan is for up to 83 turbines, which would produce 300 megawatts of “green” energy and heat up to 200,000 homes. The E.ON chief executive in the UK, Paul Goby said: “When built, this wind farm will play a vital role in the fight against climate change.”
He said it would displace the emission of hundreds of thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, helping the government to meet tough renewable energy targets.
Inshore fishermen from Grimsby and further down the Lincolnshire coast have already expressed annoyance at the growing number of offshore wind farms that are springing up between the Wash and the Humber, and interfering with their activities. And wind farms were recently attacked in a report by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, which said the pile driving noise during the construction period often caused huge distress to dolphins in particular.
24 October 2007
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