Residents at Wellow and Thorley have come out fighting against plans for five, 100m-tall wind turbines near their homes.
In the same week the government’s energy minister, Chris Huhne, visited the Island, calling on residents and businesses to embrace on-shore turbines, a campaign was launched opposing the proposed Vectis Wind Farm on land at Wellow.
Campaign group The Wight Against Rural Turbines (ThWART) has raised a blimp at the site to show the height of the proposed turbines.
It claims such a development would blight the rural landscape but developer Infinergy says many Islanders support the Vectis Wind Farm proposal, which has been revised following a year of research and consultation after a previous application was refused.
Communications co-ordinator Kari Clouston said: “Many people have said they would expect to see a wind farm on a true EcoIsland as a landmark of sustainable living. Green energy is on the rise and the Island has excellent opportunities to benefit from the abundant natural resources.
“More green sector jobs will be created as the Island adopts sustainable transport, food production and electricity generation.”
The Vectis Wind Farm could produce enough electricity for 6,400 Island homes, she said. But the plans have been criticised by residents and unanimously rejected by local councillors, at meetings held this week by Yarmouth Town Council and Shalfleet Parish Council.
Concerns were raised about heavy traffic during construction, increased flooding and noise and flicker created by the turbines. It was also suggested the development could deter tourists from visiting the Island.
Thorley resident Jill Cowley – married to Yarmouth mayor Cllr Steve Cowley – said villagers were not opposed to green energy and many had installed solar panels.
“Previously, there were suggestions we were ruining our children’s future by not supporting renewable energy but that cannot be said now. If we lose the landscape, however, future generations will never get it back or the wildlife it supports,” she said.
Fears property prices would plummet were also voiced. Thorley resident Nigel Gregory, left in the lurch when the couple set to buy his house pulled out after the application was submitted, said: “People might call us NIMBYs but our lives are on hold because of this. We feel helpless,” he said.
• Comments on the application must be submitted to the Isle of Wight Council by next Friday, August 12.
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