Wind turbines update

Posted on 17 Apr 2005

The Society Newsletter No 1 of February 2003 contained an Article on Renewable Energy and the current Newsletter contains a further one. The position of the Society has not changed however an update is deemed necessary.

‘Your Energy’, the Bournemouth based wind developers, announced on 30th March 2004 that it plans to develop a wind energy project close to Wellow, Isle of Wight, utilising 7 wind turbines. These are expected to reach 105 metres in height and to generate 1.5 to 2.0 MW of power.

‘Your Energy’ intends to hold public consultation about these proposals in order to ensure that their eventual Planning application considers the views of all interested parties. They also plan to hold an exhibition.

Expected timetable is that ‘Your Energy’ will submit a formal Planning application to the Isle of Wight Council by the end of June, accompanied by a full Environmental Impact Assessment ‘Your Energy’ will discuss the Environmental Impact Assessment with the Isle of Wight Council prior to the application being made.

‘Your Energy’ has produced a 60-page ‘Scoping Report’, listing all the factors which they feel need to be examined in the Environmental Impact Assessment, and asking the Isle of Wight Council to use this as a basis for their formal Scoping Opinion.

The Isle of Wight Council Planners will examine the Environmental Impact Assessment to ensure that it is satisfactory and if not there will need to be some review; but if satisfactory the Isle of Wight Council will register the application. From then on, the Isle of Wight Council has 16 weeks in order to determine, and which if the timetable is maintained will take it to end-October. It is probable that during this overall period objections will need to be submitted July/August.

The local organisation ThWART (The Wight Against inappropriately sited Rural Turbines) has been campaigning for some time against the Wellow Site proposal and will continue to do so. At their most recent meeting of the Society Council the majority of the Members were strongly opposed to it.

The position of the Society is and remains that they are not opposed to wind farms in principle but would be concerned if any such proposed development would be visually intrusive to the Solent. It is believed that due to the size of the proposed turbines at Wellow intrusion will take place, and layout plans received confirm this with visibility expected at Lymington, Southampton Water entrance, Southampton, Portsmouth and beyond.

Accordingly, the Society will consider the application together with the Environmental Impact Assessment once they have been submitted before deciding what basis there might be grounds for objection.

The above is only an outline for what clearly will become an important issue in the months ahead.