Vince Adams says:
A Response to the Milborne Wind Farm Proposal

Category: Dorset Energized News, Wind Power
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Earlier this week I visited an exhibition presented by West Coast Energy in the village of Tolpuddle, famous for its worker’s 19th century revolt and where another revolution is being planned…

…This time the revolution is creating renewable energy from a Wind Farm.

This is an exciting opportunity for Dorset and its people to really get involved in renewables and begin to take its fair share of the UK’s national energy targets.

West Coast are not a huge conglomerate but have a lot of experience in local wind farm start-ups and have so far created 800 megawatts of renewable energy with projects in Scotland, Wales and the Midlands. Some of their team were at the Tolpuddle Village Hall to answer questions and take on board any suggestions or ideas from the local community. I really liked their approach and their emphasis on working with the local community, discussing problems at first hand and generally listening to genuine concerns.

What also struck me was their emphasis on Community – something that I believe is so important with renewable energy projects. They aim to give 10% of total revenues to the local community to fund whatever they decide is wanted. Over the 25 year life of the project will amount to circa £7 million pounds. Local people, groups and Councils will be consulted and the project funds will be controlled locally. This is hugely important and something that everyone in or near the location should become an integral part of.

Creating clean, sustainable energy with a win for well planned local projects to enhance the area is in itself an amazing opportunity.

The plan itself is to position 10 wind turbines of various sizes in fields North of Tolpuddle. The topography is excellent and runs almost parallel with the A35 trunk road from Poole to Dorchester. I never realised just how busy the road is and the car noise will more than drown out any noise created by the turbines. The lack of buildings within the vicinity make it excellent siting and we know for sure that in 25 years time after reaping the wind’s harvest, the fields will be in much the same condition as they are today. No doubt in due course the farmers will expand on what they intend to continue to do agriculturally near the turbines.

Of course from other areas across Dorset you will be able to see the turbines and my hope is that over time they will become iconic symbols of a new way to fuel the development of future generations.

The site itself comes under the control of West Dorset and a special Parish Meeting is planned for the people of Milborne St Andrew in the Autumn where they will present the project and answer questions etc.

Communication is vital, as is respect for the concerns of everyone. Crucial to this is having the right information so can I suggest that anyone who wants to know more about wind turbines or any related renewable subject looks on the relevant pages here on the Dorset Energized website where they will find real advice and information including the pros and cons, plus ways to get involved personally with other forms of renewable energy – visit www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy.

More details on the Milborne Wind Farm Proposal (which has already caused some debate here on our blog) can be found at: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/archives/2012/08/08/milborne-wind-farm-in-west-dorset.

See our specific page on Wind Power at: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/wind-power.
For related blog posts go to: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/archives/category/wind-power.

15Comments | Post your own comment

  • Claire Green comments:
    "I was at several of West Coast Energy presentations. All I can say is tht you ust have had your eyes closed, your easrs closed and your mind shut down. The presenters were dismissive, patronising, conceited, rude and offensive. I object to wind farms in principle because the are inefficient, have a lifetime of only 20-25 years, and depend on unpredictable weather patterns. They is plenty of scientific proof to dispute everything the wind farms claim they can do. Without Government subsidies none of these energy companies would be operating. Nobody would be investing on a private basis. But I really wish you wouldn’t lie about the tone of these meetings you purport to have attended. "
    March 21, 2013 a 12:20 am

  • HJL comments:
    "There is no doubt that sources of renewable energy should be a primary consideration for all. But lessons should be learned about the impact of wind turbine sites from those areas with insight and knowledge. A review of the literature (and Court settlements) reveals that dwellings DO suffer noise disturbance (planning councils in Scotland are advised not to grant planning permission within 2 km of residential dwellings), ‘flicker’ causes distraction to drivers on nearby roads and tourism is detrimentally affected. These three issues convince me that the proposed Milborne Wind Farm (sited close to dwellings, adjacent to A35 and in an area where many residents run B&B businesses) must be strongly opposed. "
    October 2, 2012 a 8:46 pm

  • Bob Lancaster comments:
    "Think on this, Thomas Hardy monument, that is so easily visible from the approach into Dorchester and around, is only…. 22 metres high, that’s all 22! On the Weymouth viewing tower, if you look from White horse hill, as we used to call it, where you have King Georges White horse on the right……..look to the left at the view towards Weymouth, the viewing tower is very easily in view, just imagine ten of them! What a horror! Not just ten but bigger. I think Mr Holmans measurements do not include to the tip of the blades, if the blades were in a 12 O clock position with the top blade! Please not here, no in Dorset. "
    August 29, 2012 a 11:48 am

  • Bob Lancaster comments:
    "David is quite right, the turbines are however hideously close to the very small hamlet called Milborne Wood. People do not probably realise quite how huge these turbines are…..it is very hard to imagine such a height without something to compare it too. A good start would be this. The Weymouth viewing tower stands at about 53 metres, sit on Weymouth beach and look at that tower, then imagine that tower times three in height..and you have the height of the tallest turbine that is involved…once you have done that imagine that times 10…they will be hideously tall. St Paul’s Cathedral stands at 122 metres in height, the tallest structure in West Europe is the Shard, and these proposed wind turbines will be about half the height of the Shard!
    People who are in favour of this development keep saying, Dorset should do it’s bit…etc……get real! Dorset has very little trade in comparison to other counties, for example in the South East, we depend on the Tourist trade, that is where we make our money…. Thomas Hardy Country, if we ruin this landscape it is gone forever. The developement is in the wrong place, it is too huge, it will damage our economy, it will be a blot on our beautiful landscape. Iconic beauty, I ask you….no no no, an ineffectual white elephant, there are so much better ways of producing energy, in ways that do not cause such a negative outcome. People have commented that the people prepared to have this windfarm in their backyard should be seen as heros….firstly would people who utter such comments like to have it in their backyard…and would the developers who are not based in Dorset……who know very little of our area, and probably care little for it..would they like this in their backyard, ruining the quality of their lives, damaging the value of their properties, ruining their economy.
    Dorset is not a Brown field site, if these turbines go ahead, we will not be able to stop the others that will line up after them.
    Our beautiful jewel, what we should prize will be ruined for ever and for what? So some a company that is nt even based here can profit, while the local people lose…oh yes the contribution to the local council, ha…after 25 years, worth 3 million, probably less I should imagine if not index linked, how many peoples lives blighted over that time…and remember who pays for the substation that deals with these monsters, oh yes the taxpayer, not the developers….
    I repeat, these turbines are huge, look on the net, you see how unhappy people are, how uneconomical they are. You realise that this development is under 1000 metres from the first dwelling it will affect… you think of the risk to our tourism….it is unacceptable. "

    August 29, 2012 a 10:54 am

  • David Holman comments:
    "Milborne Windfarm is not at Milborne it is sited directly along the line of Tolpuddle Village with the tallest availabe industrial scale wind turbines proposed for this outstanding rural idyll.
    Tolpuddle is an international tourist destination and forms the gateway to West Dorset and Hardy Country,the damage to the local economy will be out of all proportion to the small number of homes the windfarm can really supply.
    The noise,vibration anad flicker will affect the residents and visitors all day and night, summer and winter with no respite,with many hundreds of people and businesses sited well within the international guidance of at least 2km from such dwellings. The adverse health affects (Wind Farm Syndrome) from these kind of large turbines is well documented at sites acrossthe UK and is becoming increasingly acknowledged by scientists and doctors.
    The visual intrusion from ten 126m high turbines is wholly inappropriate to the locale and the resulting despoilation will be prominent from vast tracts of South and West Dorset and the Jurassic Heritage Coast along with Areas of Oustanding Natural Beauty. The alien towering masts are more than twice as tall as any man made structure in Dorset. The loss of amenity to walkers,cyclists and horeseriders would be enormous as will be the damage to wildlife especially birds and bats who suffer frequent deaths from strike by turbine blades.
    If you love Dorset and value its special and unique tranquillty and beauty and wish to see this preserved for future generations please take action,contact your coucillors and oppose this planning application by West Coast Energy.Beware of their selective and frequently misleading propaganda if this plan goes ahead the fundamental rural nature of much of Central Dorst will be lost forever. "

    August 28, 2012 a 9:55 am

  • Samson comments:
    "“Noise complaints about one in six wind farms this article below appears in the Daily telegrah, it is very very worrying, there is alot of information about there, people are either being untruthful on one side or another… The cottages around Askam wind farm occupy the perfect spot, looking out to sea over to the isle of Man and inland to the Lake District. The only problem is the noise.
    The seven turbines have sparked the most complaints about wind farms in the country. Residents complain of a noise like someone is “mixing cement in the sky” or a “clog is stuck in the tumble dryer” and they are not the only ones. New figures reveal that at least one in six wind farms have had complaints about noise causing a lack of sleep or just been “dreadfully irritating”. The statistics show the growing concern around the health impacts of wind turbines as the Government plans to spend billions of pounds encouraging developers to erect around 1,000 new onshore turbines over the next ten years. This weekend campaigners meet in Darlington for WindConf 2010 to hear from victims and experts about the impacts of wind farms on areas of outstanding beauty. Gillian Haythornthwaite, who lives near the wind farm in Askam with her partner Barry Moon, said it has been a “devastating” experience.”
    It is a dreadfully irritating whoosh, whoosh noise,” she said. “It is unbearable to be outside in the garden when there is the noise.” The local council in Barrow in Furness said there have been more than 100 official complaints since the turbines were erected in 1999, although campaigners claim it is more than 270 from around a dozen people. E. On, the energy company that runs the wind farm, said it has introduced a “noise reduction monitoring reduction system” that turns off the turbines when they turn in a certain direction in order to resolve the problem. But David Brierley, a retired policeman who also lives nearby, said there is still a problem. He described the noise as like a train that never arrives or a helicopter landing outside. “It is a horrendous situation,” he added. Campaigners are gathering evidence on the noise problems caused by wind farms to pressure the Government to take action. A Freedom of Information request has revealed the names of 27 wind farms that were included in a 2007 report on noise submitted to the Department for Business. Since then Jane Davis, who is hoping to take her complaint about a wind farm near her home in Lincolnshire to the High Court, has recorded at least ten more noisy wind farms out of a total of 255 in the country. She has submitted all the information to the Government but claims that many people are reluctant to make complaints because they fear nothing will be done. “This is not about saying no wind farms anywhere, this is about saying lets have wind farms in the right place with the right regulations,” she said. Dick Bowdler, an acoustic consultant, used to advise the Government on wind farm noise. However he resigned because he felt concerns about noise from wind farms were not being followed up. “I have no doubt that there are some people who are seriously affected by wind farm noise,” he said. Mr Bowdler said it was impossible to complain because the noise limits set for wind farms are too high. “You cannot do anything except for a make a lot of fuss,” he said. “What is needed is stricter standards that bring wind farms into line with every other industrial noise.” Dr Chris Hanning, a retired NHS sleep consultant, said the main problem is sleep disturbance that can lead to extreme stress. “It you have this sound thumping away all day and there is nothing you can do to try and turn it off, it is very annoying,” he said. The Department for the Environment insisted that the Government takes the problem seriously. A spokesman said: “Renewable energy is needed for the long term prosperity of Britain, and wind energy is an important part of this. Any complaints about noise from wind turbines should be investigated by the local authorities.” Wind farms that have been the subject of noise complaints, according to official document submitted to the Government by Salford University: Glens of Foudland, Aberdeenshire Cruach Mhor, Argyll and Bute Royd Moor, Barnsley Askam, Barrow in Furness Blaen Bowi, Carmarthenshire Carland Cross, Carrick Four Burrows, Carrick Moel Maelogen, Conwy Hafoty Ucha, Conwy Tir Mostyn & Foel Goch, Denbighshire Michelin Tyre Factory, Dundee Causeymire, Caithness Llyn Alaw, Anglesey Rhyd-y-Groes, Anglesey Trysglwyn, Anglesey Cold Northcott, North Cornwall Bears Down, North Cornwall Delabole, North Cornwall St Breock, North Cornwall Llandinam, Powys Mynydd Clogau, Powys Crystal Rig, Scottish Borders Hadyard Hill, South Ayrshire Deeping St Nicholas, South Holland Harlock Hill, South Lakeland Lynch Knoll, Stroud Forest Moor, Bradworthy, Torridge these turbines are so very huge, and there are so many of them, as the story says the objection is not to green energy just not such energy in the wrong places. "

    August 26, 2012 a 8:42 pm

  • phil comments:
    "http://fifewindfarms.org.uk/developers-fairy-tales-denounced/ An item appears regarding West Coast energy, it does not make encouraging reading, how does West Coast Energy answer this, and can they understand why people are so untrusting. the item is entitled “Developers “fairy tales” denounced” “Wind developer; West Coast Energy has been accused of “comprehensively misleading” Holyrood about levels of popular opposition to its wind projects in a “desperate effort to hang on to political support for big wind companies”. http://www.fifewindfarms.org.uk “The storm broke after Steve Salt, West Coast Energy’s Planning and Development Director, appeared at Wednesday’s meeting of the Energy, Economy and Tourism Committee’s Inquiry into the 2020 Renewables Targets.” "
    August 26, 2012 a 8:06 pm

  • Caz comments:
    "We have a large MOD training area in Dorset why not go put them on there where the tanks will drownd out the noise, The local monkeys might complain though! "
    August 23, 2012 a 10:25 am

  • Vince Adams comments:
    I do agree with your thoughts on people who have worked hard to buy a house and if there is potential reductions in value I think that this has to be addressed.
    My own view on the road issue’s are that it will do little to increase accident rates, indeed it might even have the effect of reducing speeds.
    But all issues need good discussion and careful consideration.
    Just a thought do you think that wind turbines have reduced tourism in Cornwall for example ??
    Vince "

    August 21, 2012 a 9:25 am

  • Simon Rayson comments:
    "Well jets do have to take off from somewhere. Anyway it is a challenge we are all facing – what to do about our energy needs, for the present and more particularly for the future. One might wonder if in the future people might be regarded as good examples (even heroes) for having given the go ahead to have renewable energy installations in their neighbourhood – heck it might even make a person want to live in that vicinity. In the meantime though there is this perception that having windfarms nearby is a Bad Thing. But what can we do to ensure there is electricity? You hear of this “Fracking” which can release underground methane, yet that apparently sets off earthquakes – think I`d prefer a Wind Turbine. Or Solar Power – which does seem to offer the most easy on the palate solution, it might be interesting to know how many square metres of solar panels would be required to match the (anticipated) output of the Wind Farm we are discussing. These are challenging times, energy wise, it`s good to debate and heck maybe one of the inventive people of this land might come up with a far better solution, now that`d be good! "
    August 21, 2012 a 9:08 am

  • K Edmunds comments:
    "thankfully jumbo jets tend to fly rather too high to generally be a distraction, where as turbines tend to be attached to the ground! Looking at info available the Highways Agency advises that windfarms should be sited with due care and attention to the surrounding topography hazzards road use etc. In an area where the turbines become a regular fixed feature there is less of a hazard, but next to a road used by tourists who may not have used the road very often this could clearly be a danger. I think you would find most people would leap at the chance to have solar power installed at their houses if it was cheaply available, people do want to do their bit I am sure. The problem for Windfarm developers is this, we live in a time when information is available on a Global proportion, we are not stupid, we read of peoples lives being blighted by such developments, people launching 2.5 million lawsuits against developers etc. tourist sites in other parts of the country being adversely affected.
    Plus people can read that some very prominent people are making alot of money from these developments, so is it right to tell people that they should do their bit, accept the fact that their house that they have worked hard and long to have will be devalued but that’s fine. If you look at the current news reports regarding houses having their council tax bands reduced because the local councils have accepted that their houses have been devalued by having a windfarm near to them, one realises this is a fact. We all want to do what we can, but fairly and safely.
    We live in a beautiful county whose living comes from Tourism, we must not risk destroying the goose that lays the golden egg. "

    August 20, 2012 a 9:54 pm

  • Simon Rayson comments:
    "Fascinating info about the “distraction to drivers effect” apparently reported – makes me wonder if Airports and suchlike ought to be sited well away from roads as well – if Wind Turbines can distract, how much more so a jumbo jet? As regards the fears of noise and loss of value in housing (and the other oft reported reasons why Wind Farms are opposed), perhaps this reflects an unwillingness to take personal responsibility for the energy future of this country – a “not my problem” thing rather than a NIMBY thing? I don`t know – but to me it still seems like a worthwhile project! "
    August 20, 2012 a 2:17 pm

  • Vince Adams comments:
    "Thanks to everyone so far for coming forward with their comments and beginning a truly democratic debate.
    What we at Dorset Energized wish to do is:
    Ensure that all the points raised by anyone are met with informed professionally thought through answers.
    Let us cut through rumour,smoking mirrors and let the facts speak loudly for themselves so that the local people can come to their own conclusions.
    I shall be asking all the contributors to DE to answer specific technical questions and of course bring West Coast Energy fully into the debate wherever possible. Please network everyone you know with the website and enable them to become a real part of the renewable energy future.
    vince adams "

    August 20, 2012 a 10:13 am

  • p jesty comments:
    "For those of us who want to find out more about windfarms, their pitfalls and plus’s could make a good start with reading below, first two from The Telegraph, the third, the latter which addresses the safety issues is from the Caithness Windfarm information forum, it has probably the most uptodate accident information available. “The great wind delusion has hijacked our energy policy” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/9468604/The-great-wind-delusion-has-hijacked-our-energy-policy.html “Wind turbines do bring down property prices” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/9418617/Wind-farms-do-bring-down-property-values.html This makes very interesting reading piece researched and published by http://www.caithnesswindfarms.co.uk Caithness Windfarm Information Forum this contains
    “accompanying detailed table includes all documented cases of wind turbine related accidents which could be found and confirmed through press reports or official information releases up to 30 June 2012. CWIF believe that this compendium of accident information may be the most comprehensive available anywhere.” Fascinating reading, and makes one aware of safety issues that one had not realised exist with wind turbines, doubly makes one question the distance of the planned wind turbines from the dwellings there, and the distance from the road. very very worrying. "

    August 20, 2012 a 8:06 am

  • p jesty comments:
    "7 Million over 25 years will add to about 3 Million, unless it is index linked? Not a very big input into the local economy.
    It seems from searching the web there has been alot of negative outcomes from Windfarms placements, up North Tourist areas have been damaged, with people from Campsites sighting the near by windfarms as the reason why they no longer wish to visit and stay in an area.
    Yes the turbines will be very visible from the A35, and perhaps this presents a danger, the view will be obscured by Weatherbury fort, and from the other direction from the natural bend, the turbines will loom up suddenly, an issue that the Highways Agency has highlighted as a concern in the placement of Windfarms, because of a danger of “driver distraction”. Also the turbines will be visible from the A354 at a point where there has already been a fatality due to distraction. The A35 is as noisy as it is at this point due to the concrete treatment of the road, if the road is resurfaced as it should be to make it quieter, then the sound balance will alter, and the turbine volume will be louder.
    Also it should be noted that the A35 and A354 are not busy roads at night, it is quite quiet, especially when not in the Tourist season, since Windturbines create alot of noise at night, and people are attempting to sleep at night, it could be a really serious issue!
    As for households being at a distance from the turbines there are several dwellings at approximately a kilometre or less, in Denmark such a development of the windfarm would not be allowed, a distance of 2 kilometres must be made between the turbines and any dwelling; as the developers are probably aware the Scottish Parliament are considering passing such a ruling that no wind farm should be closer than 2 km to a dwelling.
    I know personally from a Friend who lives near to a Windfarm that they were told by an estate agent that their house had it’s value wiped out by the plan to site a farm so near by, and now the windfarm is in existance they have been told that the value of their property is almost completely gone is this a fair thing to do to someone? How do the developers plan to recompense anyone likewise affected?
    It is indeed interesting to look at West Coast energys plans on their website there are alot of windfarms planned by them. It is also interesting to do searches to get information from independent sources regarding Windfarms, pros and cons. I think it is important to take a completely open minded approach, find out the pros and cons.
    I think it would display alot of decency if the West coast energy could excercise real community spirit they should contribute more to the economy if this goes ahead, and they should immediately approach any near by dwelling of 2 kilometres or less and offer to buy them out at full market value before these plans were put in place, this would be very forward thinking and positive. Surely if it is accepted by Denmark, and other countries that this 2 Kilometre ruling should exist, then it should be observed here too! Plus it should be kept in mind that rules and laws can be applied retrospectively, a Council may even be held liable for allowing a developement to go ahead in a way that is deemed wrong in the future, this must be born in mind too.
    Finally I am concerned that Windturbines are not the answer to the problem, we must look further, imagine if solar technology was made cheaper, so that practically everyone could be producing solar energy. Perhaps Wind turbines can have their place in producing energy, but perhaps in this position it would be wrong. It is after all very close to an Area of Outstanding natural beauty, it is the Heart of Hardy Country, famed for it’s rural beauty..perhaps we should keep that in mind. Perhaps windfarms of a smaller size positioned properly 2 km away from households, not in the view of drivers where they might cause a distraction, not positioned near to areas that depend on their rural beauty for their bread and butter……..ie tourist industry.
    I ask the developers to please consider how they treat local people, I ask them to be totally transparent in what sort of volume these turbines will create, what sort of distraction the flashes caused by the blades will create, if this is safe next to a major road.
    I think alot of people do not realise quite how very large these turbines will be, something like twice the height of the Weymouth tower, which looks pretty large to me!
    I recommend to all involved in this that they keep an open mind, they research beyond the information helpfully given by West Coast energy into the pros and cons. It is very important that we seek as much information as possible, because if this is truly a disastrous approach we will be stuck with them, and if this windfarm goes up, there will be alot more of them in Dorset, so we need to be very careful that this is the best course of action. "

    August 19, 2012 a 11:12 pm

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