16
DEC

Anna Celeste Watson says:
West Dorset Pro Wind Group gaining massive support


Category: Dorset Energized News, Wind Power
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Last Saturday Stu and I were out in Dorchester and spotted a big sign in town saying ‘Yes to Wind’! We were so excited about seeing something so positive about local renewable energy we went over to chat to the people on the stall and were even more pleased to see they had lots of people gathered around, and a huge stack of signatures of people writing their comments with their support of the Slyer’s Lane wind farm proposal near Charminster here in Dorset to the West Dorset District Council Planning Department, including lots of families with small children who obviously care about the future of our area and want clean, safe and secure renewable energy.

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I personally commented that in Dorset (as in all areas) we need to play our part in supporting a mix of renewable energy sources, and that I find wind turbines rather cool, beautiful and inspiring – although of course that is not the point! (Just as its not the point if people think they are visually obtrusive – nothing is as visually offensive as a gas station or electricity pylons for which no one ever protested over!).

In stark contrast, the anti-wind group down the road seemed to have little support, at least from what I saw and heard. In the interests of being fair, personally I would like to say that I do respect their views too and they also have a right to air those views, but it did visually illustrate to me that the anti-wind fraction really are a very small minority of people (usually in the more affluent villages where they have lots of money to mount their campaigns) who campaign to make their voice heard the loudest, whereas the large majority of people are for wind power, but usually just don’t feel strong enough to do anything about it. Its generally often groups that are against something that campaign (whatever the issue!). Even more reason why I can’t praise the West Dorset Pro Wind Group enough – they are getting out there to the people and making them actively take simple positive action!

Say ‘Yes to Wind’!

As well as getting lots of front page press for their campaign which Lets Get Energized have previously reported, the West Dorset Pro Wind Group were giving away posters and info too – so if you haven’t already got your ‘YES TO WIND’ poster you can do so by clicking the image below to download and print:

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Support the Slyer’s Lane Wind Farm near Charminster Dorset

Here is more information from the back of the poster which shows just why we would should be supporting the Slyer’s Land Wind Farm Proposal:

Why is it important to support this proposal?

In the context of global warming and need to develop clean energy sources now, this is an opportunity for our community to benefit from a £24m investment in wind power capable of providing sufficient electricity for most of the homes in the Dorchester area. This local energy will be clean, safe and secure. Research confirms that a majority of the general popula!on support wind farms, but that those who oppose them tend to be more vociferous in making their views known. Planning officers need to have a full and objective picture in making their recommendation, so it is important that those who support the proposal for a wind farm write individually to record your opinions and reasons.

What are some positive reasons?

  • Wind turbines generate power 70-80% of the time.
  • One wind turbine supplies the same power as 20 acres of solar panels (10 football pitches).
  • Modern wind turbines do not create any significant noise problems.
  • RSPB supports wind farms; there are many other more serious hazards for birds.
  • UK is the windiest country in Europe.
  • Slyers Lane site has potential to allow school children to see the technology close up and so help inform this genera!on on their difficult future decisions re energy sources and costs.
  • A Community Fund @ £60k per year (index linked = £1.5m over 25 years) to support local community projects.

How valid are some of counter arguments?

  • Local house prices will fall – independent research on the development and operation of 3 UK wind farms of comparable size showed that local house prices followed market trends.
  • Wind farms discourage tourism – recent survey research for Cornwall County Council found this is NOT the case. Visitors primarily influenced by economic factors and holiday patterns.

Will the key issue be visual amenity?

Some welcome wind turbines as icons of good modern design; others as industrial monstrosities. Visual amenity is a very subjective opinion. Our countryside is always changing to reflect the times. It has seen windmills, water mills, the buildings and spoils of lead, tin and coal mines, quarrying, china clay workings, and rail and road developments but the countryside is resilient and adaptable.

Modern wind turbines have a design life of around 25 years after which they can be dismantled, so that a site can be returned to its natural state.

Why is it so important to record your support during the public consultation?

Research confirms that a majority of the general population support wind farms, but that those who oppose them tend to be more vociferous in making their views known.

Planning officers need to have a full and objective picture in making their recommendation, so it is important that those who support the proposal for a wind farm write individually to record your opinions and reasons.

Find out more about supporting the Slyer’s Lane Wind Farm Proposal and the West Dorset Pro Wind Group at: www.westdorsetprowind.org.uk

Closing date for comments is 20th December

I literally just spotted the West Dorset Pro Wind Group out in Dorchester again this morning and they told me they have over 850 comments now so are hoping to get 1000 before the deadline this weekend.

You can also write a letter of support which MUST include your name, address and application number: WD/D/14/002611 and email to westdorsetprowind@outlook.com OR comment online at http://webapps.westdorset-dc.gov.uk/PlanningApps/Pages/Planning.aspx?App=WD%2FD%2F14%2F002611. It doesn’t take long, after first registering with the Dorset For You website, it’s a breeze and literally takes a few minutes.

Find out more at: http://www.westdorsetprowind.org.uk/planning.html



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