By Mel Wright | Isle of Man Today | 22 September 2016 | www.iomtoday.co.im
Another proposal to erect three 10kw wind turbines on the headland overlooking Port Erin bay has been submitted on property owned by billionaire property magnate John Whittaker.
This is the second time permission has been sought for the plan (14/00632/B) by Cheeseden Investments Ltd.
Each turbine will be 15 metres high and have a seven-metre diameter grey blade.
Mr Whittaker is chairman of the Peel Group, which owns a number of properties and businesses, including Liverpool Airport, and has an estimated fortune of £2.34bn, placing him 47th in the Sunday Times rich list.
His company moved into the energy sector in 2008 with the opening of Scout Moor Wind Farm on the West Pennine Moors in Greater Manchester.
His home, Ballaman, previously the residence of racing driver Nigel Mansell, includes a helicopter landing site and is in Rushen parish.
When first submitted, in 2014, the plan prompted many objections from those worried about the visual impact of the turbines.
The latest application includes additional information.
Architect Kelly-Lewthwaite wrote relating to objections from Isle of Man Airport on the grounds of ‘interference to their navigation systems’, it said the applicant could accept a conditional approval of the plan first.
The latest submission also includes minutes of a meeting between Tony Woods, airfield operations manager, and two consultants representing Cheeseden. It said that in 2014 the airport instructed NATS (National Air Traffic Services, part of the Civil Aviation Authority) to undertake an assessment of the impact of the proposed wind turbines on the new radar being commissioned. The report stated that ‘the turbines would be visible to the radar which could lead to unwanted radar returns being displayed to the controller.’
Cheeseden challenged this.
Relating to the visual impact, Kelly-Lewthwaite said that in May, an experimental pole was erected where the turbines would go.
Though it had been there for four months, there ‘does not appear to have been any third parties (sic) complaints/ objections’.
Rushen Eco-Energy wrote on behalf of the applicant that there is already alternative energy production such as ground heat source pumps, solar panels and mechanical ventilation at Ballaman, but they need electricity to run them which could be provided by wind energy.
Relating to concerns about airport radar interference, Rushen Eco-Energy wrote the manufacturer of the turbine would be prepared to supply the airport with a turbine for them to test to resolve any concerns.
Objectors include Port Erin resident Hugh Davidson, who said: ‘This is the application to which 39 people, including two government ministers, and eight organisations posted objections. The primary basis of the objections was damage to landscape character and visual impact, and inappropriate overdevelopment on a headland of outstanding natural beauty. These key issues are not addressed in the additions to the application.’
Approval, he said, could lead to more turbines and ‘industrialisation’ of the headlands.
URL to article: https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2016/09/22/plan-submitted-for-three-wind-turbines-in-beauty-spot/