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It’s an ill wind, says company  

Developers behind a proposed wind farm in Purbeck have accused a protest group of trying to “discredit” the scheme by releasing misinformation.

Plans for the Alaska Wind Farm at East Stoke were cut back from six turbines to four in May – and now protest group Dorset Against Rural Turbines (DART) has announced they are set to lose another turbine.

But developers Infinergy have denied the claim and accused the group of releasing “misleading” statements to discredit the scheme.

Chief executive Charles Sandham said they were “just a rumour”.

He said: “It is unfortunate that Dart is always looking at ways to try and discredit the Alaska Wind Farm proposal and it is shame that some individuals believe their comments to be factual.”

But DART says its claim arose from informal discussions with Purbeck District Council planners.

Group chairman Geoff Edwardes said: “That’s interesting, because that’s not what we have heard from Purbeck District Council’s planning office. Their understanding is that it’s going to come down to three.”

Alan Davies, the district council’s development control manager, did not deny having a conversation with Mr Edwardes, but said: “The number of turbines is down to the applicant to decide, and Purbeck District Council will then determine the application accordingly.”

Infinergy confirmed its plans were still for four 125m turbines at Masters Pit, Puddletown Road.

It said it was working with the council to address worries from locals and to “discuss the best way forward with the planning application”.

The government recently announced plans to build 4,000 new wind turbines by 2020.

Infinergy’s Rebecca Hardy said: “We would hope it would influence the decision for the Alaska Wind Farm.”

Mr Edwardes said the government numbers sounded like “absolute madness”.

The farm should be capable of generating at least 12 megawatts of electricity – enough to serve around 7,000 homes – and figures suggest a two-megawatt turbine can save 5,400 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.

By Steven Smith

Daily Echo

3 July 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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