Blue Horizon Bay residents fighting the development of the Metrowind Van Stadens wind farm are taking their battle to the Supreme Court of Appeal.
Residents are committed to halting the development because they believe there was no public participation process. They also believe the wind farm on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth has potential negative health and environmental impacts for the village, which is nestled in a pristine nature conservancy.
With five of the planned nine turbines already erected, an attempt by village residents to obtain an interdict to stop construction was denied last month by the Port Elizabeth High Court.
But after approaching an independent senior counsel who believes the interdict should have been granted, residents are preparing to lodge an appeal with the Supreme Court.
Bob Bell, who has lived in the village for the past six years with his wife Jenny, said they were concerned about the turbines’ impact once they were operational.
“There will be noise impact. Residents choose to live here because it is peaceful. There is documentary evidence abroad which shows there is significant noise pollution caused by wind farms.”
He said associated negative health effects include loss of balance due to the impact on the middle ear, sleeplessness and depression which are all part of wind turbine syndrome. He said another main issue was the visual impact which would affect the outlook of the village.
“We are also concerned [because] this is a critical biodiversity area which should be protected at all costs.” Bell said more than 300 residents had signed a petition against the go-ahead of the wind farm.
But developer Donald McGillivray said it was unfortunate that a “handful” of residents were still against the wind farm and that the development would benefit the metro and surrounding communities.
He said the project had proceeded legally with all the necessary approvals in place.
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