BOURNE – Just one day before a local wind farm project’s public comment period at the Cape Cod Commission was set to close, plans for the seven turbines have been withdrawn.
But not for long, according to a spokesman for the project.
“We’re passionate about this project, and we continue to be passionate,” Greg O’Brien of Stony Brook Group said.
On Tuesday, backers of the New Generation Wind project pulled their plans for seven turbines to be built in the area of a proposed Bournedale technology park, Bourne Board of Selectmen chairman John Ford Jr. said.
Letters were sent Tuesday to the town’s planning board and the Cape Cod Commission notifying the local panels of New Generation Wind’s intention to withdraw its plans for the wind farm but to refile “shortly,” O’Brien said.
The decision came after a Cape Cod Commission subcommittee meeting two weeks ago that was attended by only three subcommittee members, he said. Previously, during the subcommittee’s review of the project’s development of regional impact application, including at three public hearings last fall, the subcommittee included five members and two alternate members, O’Brien said.
“We feel any project of this magnitude deserves a full subcommittee. It’s in everybody’s best interest,” he said.
New Generation Wind, a partnership between Panhandle Trust and Lorusso family-owned Cape Cod Aggregates, had proposed building six 2.5-megawatt turbines and one2-megawatt turbine on land in a proposed Bournedale technology park.
Some neighboring property owners complained about possible negative health and property value effects. And New Generation Wind faced questions from the Cape Cod Commission regarding the project’s effects on open space and the scenic beauty of the area near the Cape Cod Canal.
At a meeting of the Cape Cod Commission subcommittee meeting two weeks ago, only John Harris, Royden Richardson and Michael Blanton, Bourne’s Commission representative, were present.
“We are most mindful that this project has generated much debate among commission representatives and members of the public,” New Generation Wind’s letter to the county land use and planning agency reads. “Because of this … we feel the project should have consideration by a larger subcommittee with broader representation from the commission.”
Under the Cape Cod Commission’s regulations, the project must also be withdrawn at the town level, the letter states.
Another reason to refile, O’Brien said, is to provide up-to-date information reflecting changes that have been made to the proposed project.
“The goal is we can provide the most up-to-date information, documents and data that will be helpful to a full subcommittee in determining what’s in the best interest,” he said.
The details of New Generation Wind’s new plans were unclear as of the Times’ press deadline Tuesday night.
Since last May, the project has divided proponents, who have praised the wind farm’s projected tax revenue, and detractors, many of whom live in the Bournedale neighborhoods surrounding the proposed turbines and fear negative health effects and lowered property values.
In October, selectmen voted, with two abstentions, to oppose the turbine project.
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