An overwhelming majority of residents polled oppose the Barmoor Wind Farm which is due to be built in the coming months.
The six-turbine project, which received planning consent in 2010, will be constructed “as soon as possible” by new owners EDF Energy Renewables.
An independent exit poll taken as people left an open day held by the company in Lowick Village Hall last week found that 94.8 per cent of visitors opposed the scheme.
A member of the local community, which has consistently shown strong opposition to the six x 110m turbine scheme between Ford and Lowick, said: “We wanted to clarify once and for all the level of local support or opposition for this wind farm, now that it has been bought by EDF and is about to be constructed four years after receiving Planning Consent.
“A public exhibition, to which people were invited by EDF, seemed the ideal opportunity at which to conduct an unbiased poll to gauge opinion.”
Members of the public who attended EDF’s open day were asked to express their views on a simple ballot paper on leaving the exhibition, which was open from 10am to 6pm.
During the day, 214 individual visitors filled in a ballot paper at the exit poll, which asked ‘Having seen EDF’s exhibition of construction plans, Are you in favour of this development?’
Six people answered ‘yes’, 203 answered ‘no’, with five undecided.
Speaking on behalf of SOUL (Save Our Unspoiled Landscape), the organisation which represented the local community throughout the planning process, Ford resident Andrew Joicey: “This result confirms that local feeling against this wind farm has actually increased since 2005, when SOUL was asked by a large majority at a public meeting to oppose the planning application on behalf of the local community.
“An overwhelming majority of local people is clearly still opposed to this wind farm. The application, which was soundly refused by the Berwick Borough Council in 2008, should never have been allowed to proceed.”
The scheme was appealed and eventually granted planning consent following a Public Inquiry in 2009. “It should be remembered that this appeal was singled out to be decided directly by the Secretary of State rather than a Planning Inspector,” Mr Joicey added. “All the reasons for refusal were presented and explained in detail at the Public Inquiry, but overridden in the Report and the Decision.
“Nowadays, five years on, we believe such an application would never succeed. It would simply not be approved under current planning guidance. It is too close to houses, will be damaging to many rural interests, is extremely unpopular with the local community, and will create no benefit sufficient to justify that damage.”
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