Last week, as part of its consultation process, the developers, Infinergy, held two exhibitions.
The exhibition consisted of a series of well presented information panels attended by several representatives of Infinergy. To those with little background knowledge of such exhibitions, the information provided seemed perfectly reasonable. In some cases, however, it was totally misleading.
An introductory panel states that Infinergy is a locally based company in Dorset. It does not mention that Infinergy is a wholly owned subsidiary of KDE Energy of the Netherlands.
Another panel states a previous application for six turbines on the same site was only turned down because of impact on public rights of way and lack of information on the possible effects on wildlife. This is a travesty of the truth.
The IW Council refused that application on October 30, 2006, with a unanimous majority. It gave seven reasons, including scale, size and impact reasons, impact on landscape character and impact on conservation of bats.
It was pointed out to the staff by more than one attendee this information was inaccurate in the extreme. This was accepted and at the second exhibition, a typed notice in small print mentioned – visual impact!
A board to illustrate the effects of noise held little comfort for the owners of properties well within a kilometre of the proposed turbines, since the actual turbines to be used have not been nominated.
In this proposal there are to be five turbines, equal in blade tip height to four of the six turbines proposed in the previous application. Though the configuration has changed and the positions of the turbines have been moved westwards towards Broad Lane, physically dominating Thorley, there are no mitigating circumstances over the previous application.
Why do so many not realise that wind farm developers are not here for the benefit of either the planet or, in this instance, the IW?
Sadly, while there are huge profits to be made from the subsidies on offer, this is unlikely to be the last proposal threatening to spoil the IW’s greatest asset – its landscape.
M. R. Mylchreest, Yarmouth,
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