WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF WINDFARM-SPEAK!
Developer’s disclaimer: the features of all wind farms appearing on this page are entirely fictitious – any resemblance to a real operating wind-farm is purely coincidental.
FOUL PLAY ALL ROUND
The Western Morning News (September 07, 2014) reports that a 115ft (34 metre) E3120 turbine at East Ash Farm, Bradworthy, in Devon tumbled to the ground in January 2013. Rumours of foul play turned out to be correct. It took a formal Freedom of Information request for The Healthy and Safety Executive to reveal their findings. HSE’s specialist Inspector Darren Nash had found that the turbine had fallen because Dulas – the installation company – had used “cosmetic grout” to cement the structure in place and not the “prescribed” substance. Dulas declined to comment on the findings – they would wouldn’t they. Cosmetic silence saves face.
AN IRISHMAN AND A WELSHMAN ………
The Design and Access Statement for planning application for 50m anemometer mast on Bowdler Farm, Knighton, Powys, says “Site Location: …. a telecommunications mast is sited within the landscape. Castle Pill wind-farm to the south is also sited.“
The application was prepared by Right Road Renewables, County Kildare, Ireland. This is a trading name for FCG Engineering and Project Management Ltd. They are advertising for an experienced and motivated individual to work on wind turbine site development, including site selection and permission. SHCG says: Hope they get someone clever enough to read a map – Castle Pill wind farm is near Milford Haven! But what do they care?
- THOSE FUNNY RULERS – sometimes they shrink!
The Developer’s application to Powys P/2102/0573 says the width of Llanshay Lane – Stonewall Hill Road is 3.5m. Their application to Herefordshire said these Powys roads are approximately 3m wide.
SHCG says the narrowest part of the road is 2.6m and much of Stonewall Hill road is 2.7m wide so we can say goodbye to the bluebells, campion and vetch.
- ITS THOSE FUNNY RULERS AGAIN – sometimes they stretch!
The Developer thinks the Shropshire AONB is 3.5km away.
What is it about 3.5m? OS maps say it is 3km away.
- SIMON GOURLAY. STONEWALL HILL LANDOWNER
“South-facing five-acre hillside garden developed over past 40yrs with magnificent views over unspoilt countryside“. How Simon Gourlay describes his garden on Stonewall Hill for the National Gardens Scheme Yellow Book.
This is his third and most ambitious attempt to spoil it!
- DULAS. CONSULTANT FOR DEVELOPER
“..wind farms are expected to preserve local amenity, particularly in respect of noise and visual dominance. Consequently, the Developer has adopted a 600 metre separation distance from any non-involved properties in the vicinity of the wind farm”. (Dulas / Bolsterstone Environmental Statement 126.96.36.199.)
Cold comfort for the residents of The Warren, only 510 metres away from the proposed turbine 4!
- ANNE PRISCOTT. LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT. CONSULTANT FOR DEVELOPER
“The sense of place and local distinctiveness of the landscape already strongly relates to exposure, and simple windblown characteristics are present… the proposed wind turbines would reinforce one of the key characteristics in the local landscape”.
“The scale of the landscape is medium to large, .. and the simple and sculptural form of the development will potentially add localised interest to a relatively simple part of this landscape without creating clutter or detracting from the simple agrarian patterns”. (Dulas / Bolsterstone Environmental Statement, Landscape and Visual assessment 4.1.13. 6.5; 188.8.131.52.)
(the wind farm) “will form a positive statement in the landscape of the Mid Devon landscapes (sic) ability to embrace renewable technology in a bold and positive way….” (Bickham Moor Wind Farm: Proof of Evidence of Anne Priscott)
SHCG translation: “The turbines will be very visually intrusive – but very profitable”.
- BOLSTERSTONE PLC. WIND FARM DEVELOPER
“There is currently no evidence in the UK that quantifies any link between falling rates in house prices and turbine proximity” (Bolsterstone’s “Reeves Hill Windfarm” website – consulted Dec 2, 2012).
- DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE
“Good practice” example of Community Benefits from Wind farms: “The construction of a wind farm can result in the creation of new access tracks. Sometimes these are left after the construction phase in order for the local residents to use them to access the countryside for walking, horse riding and mountain biking. For example Whitelee farm has over 70km of trails as a result of the additional tracks added to the area during construction including trails for the disabled” (DECC Onshore Wind Call for Evidence Part A: Community Engagement and Benefits p. 29).
SHCG translation: “the countryside is so awfully inconvenient. How much nicer for communities to walk or ride along access tracks surrounded by giant turbines. And cheaper than removing the tracks too!”
- BOLSTERSTONE PLC., WIND FARM DEVELOPER
“The Community Consultation Programme for Reeves Hill Community Wind Energy Scheme has therefore been democratic in permitting local people to voice an opinion throughout the development of the proposal, which in turn has enabled the developer to address most of the concerns of local people.” (Reeves Hill Community Wind Energy Scheme Statement of Community Involvement 2008)
………but obviously not the concerns of 93% of Norton residents (SHCG Norton Parish Residents Survey 2012)
- FROM DULAS WEBSITE: Case Studies > Reeves Hill Wind Farm Planning and Environmental Issues
In managing the project, the following planning and environmental issues were successfully resolved during the design and development of the scheme:
• Multiple private water supplies and persuading the EA and LPA that groundwater would not be affected.
• Overcoming the challenges of third parties on the validity of environmental information.
Must be time for an update!
SHCG would like to hear your favourite examples!