Andrew Turner held a meeting last week with Prisons Minister Jeremy Wright MP, to discuss the proposed plan for two wind turbines in Parkhurst Forest by Partnerships for Renewables (PfR), a London based developer of onshore wind turbine projects on publicly owned land.
The meeting was organised by the Island’s MP following concerns raised by Dr John Yelland, a Parkhurst resident and acoustics specialist, who has been working as a consultant on wind farm projects on the Island and elsewhere in the country. The meeting was also attended by local resident, Roy Scott and Parkhurst Councillor Richard Hollis.
Cllr Richard Hollis pointed out to the Minister: “The proposed Turbines would not only blight the lives of existing residents, but they would also blight Prison land and any future possible development at Camp Hill”.
Mr Turner commented: “Dr Yelland raised concerns about planning blight (harm to land and property prices due to uncertainty about future developments) in the local area, and worrying issues about the application itself; including discrepancies in the supporting information and questions about the Statement of Community Involvement.
“The Minister listened carefully to the points made by Dr Yelland, Cllr. Hollis and Mr Scott. He was most concerned to be shown a PfR brochure sporting the Ministry of Justice logo – implying the backing of the MoJ. The land is currently leased to PfR by the Ministry of Justice and the Minister agreed to look at what options exist to take back control of the land.” .
Dr Yelland said: “Residents have been appalled by the way this planning application has been handled by PfR, and they claim to be working on behalf of the Ministry of Justice. The truth is that they are just tenants of prison land. We had an excellent meeting with the Minister for Prisons; our concerns were both heard and heeded, and we are confident there will be a significant outcome.
“The original planning application, back in 2011, had a turbine over 400 feet tall just over 400 yards from two nearby cottages. By proving that it would be way over the Government noise limit we forced the developer to change that distance to 670 yards. Now the noise would be over the Government limit at several different homes.
“PfR are still trying to worm their way round four major insoluble problems in this abysmal application; the sooner it goes before the planning committee the better.
“If a different developer were to propose solar electricity generation on that land I doubt if anyone would object, and there’s room enough on that land to generate a higher power than the proposed wind turbines would produce. It would also do so without blighting the development prospects of the old Camp Hill Prison.”
“We are so very pleased that our MP was able to arrange this important meeting for us.”