Posted by: dorsetcpre | May 30, 2012

Threat from Industrial Wind Turbines

Dorset is facing the greatest threat EVER to the tranquillity of its rolling rural landscapes

CampaignThe Dorset Renewable Energy Strategy
Last Autumn the Energy Partnership, comprising Officers from all Dorset Councils, published the draft Dorset Renewable Energy Strategy. This was to suggest how Dorset could meet the Government’s target of producing 15% of electricity from Renewable Energy by 2020. The main scenario proposed 180 giant industrial wind turbines over 400 feet high – taller than Salisbury Cathedral. They were to cover the County excluding the 50% that is designated as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Strategy was actually written by RegenSW, an outside Consultancy, who are biased in favour of windfarms.

This Strategy caused a wave of protest across the County, and Dorset CPRE wrote to every single Councillor – County, Unitary and District – to say that the possible proposal would desecrate Dorset’s rural landscapes. John Larkin and David Peacock submitted detailed technical papers demonstrating that the Strategy was in direct conflict with County policies to protect our countryside. The Partnership published a summary of all the responses received confirming the concern from many Councillors about the turbines, but rather brushing aside our technical response.

The Government published their UK Roadmap which said that Dorset could take into account the Poole Bay Off- Shore windfarm in achieving half of the County target. Then on March 28th the Partnership published a draft revised Strategy that left in the policy of a maximum of 133.8 turbines in Dorset if each Renewable Energy technology contributes in line to make up 50% of the target. If all other technologies contribute to their maximum, it would still mean 18.9 turbines from on-shore wind to make up the balance. Dorset CPRE wrote to ALL Dorset Councillors again to protest – but in just one week the County Council approved the draft and asked the public to “endorse the Strategy” by July 2. So it is essential that YOU write to protest about this Strategy to :

Cllr. Angus Campbell, County Hall, Dorchester DT1 1XJ.
Or to : i.a.campbell@dorsetcc.gov.uk

David Peacock has already submitted a detailed response on our behalf, but we are worried that the Strategy, if approved, would undermine our battles against the Alaska and Silton windfarms.

The ‘Save our Silton’ Campaign
The proposal for a windfarm of 4 turbines at Silton near Gillingham has already been unanimously rejected twice by the North Dorset Planning Committee – with over 300 protesters attending – surely evidence of a local decision under the Localism Act? But the developer has appealed the decision and it went to a Public Inquiry which started on February 28. The Inquiry was meant to last some 5 days, but the Appellant’s barrister took so long that the Inquiry has been adjourned for a further 6 days in September. The SOS Action Group has mounted an outstanding professional campaign but this will mean extra expense for them.

Aerial view of Wind TurbineThe Alaska Windfarm Campaign
A windfarm of 4 turbines has also been proposed for East Stoke, near Wool. The DART (Dorset Against Rural Turbines) Action Group including John Larkin and Terry Stewart has been fighting the proposal for some 2 years. The Purbeck Planning Committee also rejected the Application, but the developer appealed on the last possible day. So DART has to raise some £28,000 to pay for a Barrister, Legal Agent and 4 Expert Witnesses.

Michael Jeffries of Hethfelton House kindly hosted a Reception which raised over £2,000. In all we have raised over £27,000 and have asked Dorset CPRE to pay for the Landscape Expert’s report and appearance at the Inquiry. The proposed turbines are right next to the Buddens Dorset Scout Camp where some 15,000 Scouts and other youth organisations camp throughout the year. We are producing the nation’s leading medical expert on the harm to human health from turbine noise, and the threat to any autism sufferers from noise and blade flicker.

In Scotland and on the Continent the Guide states that no turbine should be erected within 2,000 metres of a residential house – yet here the tents will be only some 250 metres away. WE are extremely concerned at both the health damage to the Scouts and also the visual damage to the Purbeck AONB. The Inquiry opens on April 11 at Furzebrook Village Hall, and at Purbeck District Offices on subsequent days. We have allowed 10 days for the Hearing, and should hear the Inspector’s decision in June.

By Terry Stewart

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