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Relief as dock wind farm scheme is put on hold  

Credit:  Sheerness Times Guardian, www.kentonline.co.uk 21 October 2011 ~~

Queenborough residents who opposed plans to build a wind farm in the docks have said they are relieved the scheme has ground to a halt.

Last week we reported how proposals to build four wind turbines along the Lappel Bank have been put on hold until a decision is made about the Vestas development to build an offshore turbine manufacturing base at the port.

The Peel Ports scheme was originally given the go-ahead by Swale council in March 2009, but work to build the 125m turbines never got under way.

There had been fierce opposition to the scheme, particularly from residents and Queenborough Town Council, due to concerns about noise and the effect on health, local appearance and house prices.

Councillors visited the site and even went on a trip to Scout Moor Wind Farm in Lancashire to learn more about the turbines, and still strongly objected.

It had been thought construction would have started earlier this year and it would have been operational after several months.

Town councillor Jeff Andrews has said although they are pleased it looks as though it is not going ahead for the time being, it is frustrating as the council spent in the region of £10,000 fighting the application.

He said: “It’s a relief for the people this end of the Island – we are relieved they are not going to build them outside our front doors.

“But unfortunately it cost the council quite a lot of money to put our case forward.”

The council hired planning expert Dr Wendy Le-Las to act on its behalf.

Foxley Road resident Carol Champ, who was a parish councillor at the time they were opposing the application, echoed Mr Andrews’ thoughts.

She said: “I’m really pleased. I’m not against wind turbines at all but I think they should be offshore and not near residents because we don’t know the health implications, which was what our fight was.

“We knew it wasn’t a suitable place for it but the amount of money Peel Ports put into it and the amount Queenborough Town Council put in fighting it – it seems a complete waste of everyone’s time and money.”

Danish company Vestas revealed in May that it hopes to take over 70 hectares for a plant to assemble off-shore wind turbines and could create 2,000 jobs.

Source:  Sheerness Times Guardian, www.kentonline.co.uk 21 October 2011

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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