Energy company Infinergy, which plans to build 10 huge turbines north of Grantham, has responded to allegations of “skulduggery” made by anti-wind farm campaigners.
The firm pays the expenses of members of the Sustainable Energy Alliance when they visit the Grantham area to lobby for the proposed wind farm at Thackson’s Well, near Long Bennington.
This led to campaign group BLOT’s chairman Pandora Mawer criticising the means used to show “public support” for the project.
An Infinergy spokeswoman said: “The activity is done by SEA and not by Infinergy. We were contacted by them because they wanted to back the application and got in touch with the local people supportive of this scheme.
“SEA have their own activities and if they want to go to Grantham to campaign that is their choice.
“Secondly, Infinergy’s public consultation programme targeted the villages surrounding the site only – Allington, Sedgebrook, Muston, Easthorpe, Bottesford, Normanton, Long Bennington, Westborough and Foston.
“We held three public exhibitions in that area and the results show 14.4% undecided, 34.4% against and 51.3% in support.
“Since we, as the developer, have the burden of proof, those results and the questionnaires we received are documented in our Statement of Community Consultation, open for public viewing at SKDC, in Long Bennington and in Bottesford.
“That means that everybody can do the mathematics if they like.
“Research (more than 50 public opinion surveys have been carried out since the first UK wind farm in 1991) shows that people that live closest to wind farms are often their strongest advocates and many fears about wind farms tend to subside after construction.
“That’s because people can then actually experience the turbines for themselves and see that many fears were unfounded.”
By Jo Hall
3 March 2008
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