A project that has been met with resistance from many Western Cape residents has officially been approved by the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF). The Boulders wind farm project in the Paternoster area on the West Coast will see some 45 turbines of 160-metres-tall erected, which may be a step towards renewable energy the country and the province could do with.
However, many members of the public, as well as environmental activists, are opposed to the project, specifically pertaining to the visual impact of the new wind farm. The farm will create what objectors call a ‘visual intrusion’ extending from the West Coast National Park and covering a distance of nearly 90 kilometres.
Another argument is that the project will have a negative impact on tourism and property values in this region of ‘outstanding natural beauty and strong vernacular character’.
Author and photographer Peter Pickford, who represents the Cape Columbine Conservancy, GrootPaternoster Nature Reserve and the Shelley Point Home Owners’ Association, told CapeTalk that the community is 100% behind government’s renewable energy drive, but that it has to be approached “properly”.
“Approval of the Boulders Wind Farm is a classic example of rushing a project without considering the consequences,” he said.