‘We love living with a wind farm’

Middlewick project is nothing to be scared of urge residents of Lincolnshire village

People living next door to a working wind farm say that Southminster residents have nothing to fear from the proposed Middlewick wind farm.

Developer RidgeWind is hoping to construct a nine turbine wind farm 3km from Southminster. The company already operates a wind farm that is very similar in size, layout and topographic location – Bagmoor in North Lincolnshire. Bagmoor has been generating power since August 2009 – it has eight turbines and is just 1km from the village of Dragonby.

25-year old Helen Walker lives in the High Street, and her experience disproves claims that wind farms affect the quality of life for people living in close proximity to them. She says “They haven’t bothered me at all. They make no noise and I think the view of them is quite nice. We knew the wind farm was being built when we moved here six months ago, but it didn’t put us off.”

Elizabeth Lawton-Smith runs a riding school and livery stables just half a mile from Bagmoor wind farm. She comments “During the time the turbines were constructed I did not notice any change in behavior in the horses and ponies, they don’t appear to notice them! When we hack down Bagmoor Lane we are probably less than 500 metres away and the noise of the turbines has not caused any problems to date. If anyone concerned by the prospect of having a wind farm nearby wishes to contact me, or indeed come and visit my premises to see for themselves, they are very welcome.”

The Bagmoor wind farm also puts financial investment into Dragonby via its Community Benefit Scheme (CBS). A portion of the revenue generated by the windfarm is given to the village to support various projects. This equates to approximately £24,000 per year, and is part of a 25 year commitment – the lifetime of the project.

On top of the CBS, another group to benefit is the Normanby Park Sports Club, whose Trustee and Club Coach Paul Cowling said “When the Normanby Park sports pavilion was destroyed by arsonists in September 2007 it looked like a century of sporting tradition had come to an end. It was only through the support of companies like Ridgewind that allowed the club to re-group and build for the future. Ridgewind’s extremely kind donation of £10,000 allowed us to rebuild the pavilion, which now provides sports facilities for over 200 local youngsters. The new building is set within the Normanby country estate, with the Bagmoor wind farm providing an appropriate backdrop – reminding us of who made all this possible.”

If the Middlewick project is given the green light by Maldon District Council, then a similar Community Benefit Scheme is planned for Southminster. It would be administered by a committee formed of local Parish Council members and will be worth up to £54,000 per year (depending on turbine selection) during the lifetime of the windfarm. This could equate to over £1.3m of investment in the Dengie Peninsula over a quarter of a century.

Dragonby locals have also been offered an electricity subsidy of £250 a year for a minimum of two years, in addition to RidgeWind offering two £1000 scholarships to local students with plans to attend a higher education institute.

RidgeWind also organises regular tours of Bagmoor for school groups. James Dixon teaches Geography at nearby St Bede’s Catholic School -“There is no doubt that to have witnessed the construction, and now operation, of the wind farm has been a positive experience. I have now visited the wind farm twice, both of which with GCSE groups. Gaining the experience of visiting and seeing a wind farm is much better than just seeing it in the classroom. Some quotes from students – “That was great!” “I couldn’t believe how quiet the turbines are” and “It’s amazing how they can still farm around the turbines.” I look forward to keeping the partnership with RidgeWind up and visiting the wind farm regularly in the years to come.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

  • Middlewick will create enough electricity to power 9620 homes – that’s 38% of all the homes in the Maldon district
  • The planning application was submitted to Maldon District Council in January 2010, a decision is expected by early summer 2010.
  • More information at www.ridgewind.com

Note that we have been provided the text of this press release for use on our website by RidgeWind, but that We Want a Wind Farm is in no way connected to RidgeWind. We support the development of the Middlewick Wind Farm because we need to decarbonise the production of energy.

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