February 22, 2011

Blunder revealed in battle over wind turbines

Express & Star, www.expressandstar.com 22 February 2011

Bosses behind plans for six towering wind turbines in the shadow of a Midland tourist attraction have been forced to make an embarrassing climb-down after bungling their last ditch attempt to gain support for the project.

Wind Prospect Developments Ltd wants to install six 413ft turbines at King Street, on the Bradford Estate, near Weston Park.

Bosses used a PR company to ask members of the public in two villages several miles away from the proposed site to sign pre-printed letters in support.

However, the letter claimed that their power station would offset nearly 400,000 tonnes of CO2 per year – 25 times more than what it could actually achieve.

As a result, Wind Prospect’s senior development officer, Jonny Murphy, has had to write to South Staffordshire Council asking for all the 207 letters, signed in Codsall and Penkridge, to be disregarded.

The company is facing strong opposition to the planned development from residents who have formed the Stop the Turbines Action Group.

Tony Lendon, from the STAG group, said: “These forms were misleading. Someone must have read the forms and approved them.”

Mr Lendon said he was pleased the company had admitted its mistake.

Paul Grimshaw, development manager at Wind Prospect Developments Ltd, said: “The figure in the support letter, which states 400,000 tons of CO2 would be saved per year, should read over the lifetime of the project.

“Although the Environmental Statement stating the correct figure was available for viewing, we recognise that an error was made and we apologise for that.

“It was certainly not our intention to mislead anyone.

“We will be writing to the planning authority asking that any letters referring to these figures are disregarded.”

Mr Grimshaw defended the surveys being carried out in Codsall and Penkridge.

“These locations were chosen due to the fact they have more footfall than some of the closer small villages and are still within the district of South Staffordshire where the application has been made,” he added.

Mr Lendon added: “This is not the first time the company has been forced to revise its figures.”

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2011/02/22/blunder-revealed-in-battle-over-wind-turbines/