Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Middlewick granted permission!

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

Planning Inspector Elizabeth Fieldhouse published her decision to allow the appeal and grant planning permission for the Middlewick wind farm on 19th May. In her 31-page report, the inspector concludes that the benefits of the wind farm outweigh the disadvantages, but specifies some 42 conditions of approval to ensure that the development has minimal impact.

This thoroughly vindicates the stance taken by We Want a Wind Farm, Wonder of Wind, the three Friends of the Earth local groups and local residents who supported the project. We now look forward to the construction of the wind farm to enable the production of clean electricity, which will reduce CO2 emissions by some 20600 tonnes per year.

Yes, wind power really is green

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

At the wind farm debate hosted by Saint FM in June, a member of SIEGE was distributing leaflets entitled “Is wind power really green?” and produced by the “concerned citizens” of Grey Highlands, Ontario, Canada. We wanted to examine the claims made in this leaflet to see if there was anything to them.
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SIEGE admits to lying to the public live on air

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

At the Wind Farm Debate broadcast live on Saint FM last night, SIEGE campaigners admitted lying to the public in their campaign to prevent a wind farm being developed at Middlewick on the Dengie peninsula.

SIEGE's inaccurate photo depicting wind turbines towering over Southminster

Scaremongering photo from the SIEGE website showing wind turbines towering over Southminster High Street. It is captioned on their site as being an "Accurate scale Illustration of the view of the Turbines from Southminster High St."

A member of the audience – Denis Walker, co-ordinator of South East Essex Friends of the Earth – asked the following question of SIEGE:

“If your case is as strong as you make out, why do you lie about the way you present your information? On the front page of your website, you have a photo which has been photoshopped to put wind turbines in it and they are towering Godzilla-like over Southminster High Street. Ridgewind’s version of that photo shows that none of them will in fact be visible at all.”

Pip Thorogood replied that at the time they distributed a leaflet with the image on it, they believed it to be correct. He went on to say that the organisation now knows it not to be correct. However, at the time of publication, the image is still present on the front page of the SIEGE website with the caption “Accurate scale Illustration of the view of the Turbines from Southminster High St.”

A recording of this exchange is now available.

Two schools in Southend want their own “wind farm”

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Westborough Primary School in Westcliff on Sea brought forward a plan in 2008 to construct a wind turbine in the school to inspire children. Sadly a vocal minority of residents objected to the scheme and a grossly irresponsible council (on a majority vote) rejected the application. But the school has not given up the fight to encourage children to gain an insight into how an environmentally sound future might look, and the issue has been referred on appeal to the planning inpector.  A decision is expected imminently.

Undeterred by the ignorance of some, a proposal for a wind turbine in the new Hinguar Primary School in Shoeburyness has been made. The school has submitted an application for a 15 metre turbine, with an eye on the new feed in tariff scheme, and the potential to sell electricity back tho the grid when the school is unoccupied.

This application is at a very early stage and needs the support of residents if it is to overcome the hostility of councillors, many of whom have failed to grasp the perilous state of the nation’s energy supplies.

We’re joining forces with Middlewick Wonder of Wind

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

We Want a Wind Farm teams up with the new Middlewick Wonder of Wind campaign. Watch this space!

‘We love living with a wind farm’

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

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.

Radio Station to host Wind Farm Debate

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Saint FM, Maldon District’s Community Radio Station, is hosting a debate about the proposed Middlewick Wind Farm.

The event is taking place on Monday 14th June at 7.30pm in the Drama Studio at St Peter’s High School, Southminster Road, Burnham-on-Crouch, CM0 8QB.

Developer RidgeWind is hoping to construct a 9-turbine wind farm on the Dengie Peninsula, 3km east of Southminster. Opposition to this project has come from a campaign group called SIEGE (Southminster Inhabitants Environmental Group Enterprise).

Representatives of both RidgeWind and SIEGE – along with other interested parties, both for and against the project – will be on the panel for this hour long debate.

It will take place in front of a live studio audience, who will also have the chance to pose their questions.

Saint FM Station Manager Sandra Amey-Martin says “Saint FM prides itself on being a radio station by the community and for the community – therefore it is vitally important that we cover the issues that are affecting the lives of local people with events such as this. This is a chance for the public – and the Maldon Councillors making the decision on planning permission for the Middlewick Wind Farm – to hear all about it directly from the people actually involved.”

If you want to be in the studio audience for the Middlewick Debate, please contact Sandra Amey- Martin 01621 787829 or sandra.martin@saintfm.org.uk

The Middlewick debate is also being recorded and will be played out on St FM 94.7 at various times during the week, for details and times please check the Saint FM website. You can also listen online at www.saintfm.org.uk

Estate Agent says House Prices will not drop due to windfarm

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

An Essex Estate Agent and Auctioneer has voiced his support for the proposed windfarm at Middlewick, saying it will not lead to drop in house prices.
Developer RidgeWind is hoping to construct a nine turbine wind farm on the Dengie Peninsula. SIEGE, the group campaigning against the Middlewick Wind Farm, claim if the development is allowed to go ahead then it will lead to a drop in property prices.

But Mike Gray from Dedman Gray Property Consultants – who has over thirty years experience in the Essex property business – says that is just not true.

Mike says “There is actually very little evidence that long term house prices are affected by wind farms. In fact any value drop is associated with the planning/construction phase, and that is commonly attributed to the protests of anti-groups – so actually it is the actions of the protest groups themselves that could lead to any price drop, and not the windfarm itself!”

He adds that a 2007 windfarm study by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) shows that prices recover swiftly if there is a drop, “The study says evidence of any perceived house price fall diminishes rapidly the further from the windfarm, with the survey confirming that from more than one mile there is no significant impact. Their conclusion states ‘there is evidence to suggest that the ‘threat’ of a wind farm may have a more significant impact that the actual presence of one.’ So with the Middlewick windfarm being around 3km from Southminster, in my opinion I really cannot see it having any significant impact on property prices.”

See the RICS report at http://www.rics.org/site/download_feed.aspx?fileID=3524&fileExtension=PDF

NOTES TO EDITORS
ABOUT MIDDLEWICK

  • RidgeWind has submitted a planning application for a nine turbine wind farm for 25 years only.
  • The site is approximately 3km east of Southminster and 5km north east of Burnham-on-Crouch.
  • This application follows several years of robust ecological surveys, site assessments and a public exhibition.
  • Middlewick will create enough electricity to power 9620 homes – that’s 38% of all the homes in the Maldon district
  • RidgeWind works to maximise the community benefit of its wind farms by contributing funds from their wind farms to Community Benefit Schemes managed by a local committee. The value of the Middlewick fund is likely to be between £36,000— £54,000 per year for the lifetime of the wind farm.
  • 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

ABOUT DEDMAN GRAY

  • Mike Gray has been responsible for moving over 10,000 people in his career. He has acted for many businesses throughout Essex, and is a specialist on selling and letting both residential and commercial property, also property auctions.
  • Dedman Gray Commercial was voted the Most Active Commercial Agent in Essex for 2009 by the Estates Gazette.
  • Find out more at www.dedmangray.co.uk

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 or Dedman Gray. We support the development of the Middlewick Wind Farm because we need to decarbonise the production of energy.

RidgeWind counters false claims of wind farm overshadowing Southminster

Monday, March 15th, 2010
Southminster High Street showing position of Middlewick turbines

None of the nine turbines at the Middlewick wind farm will be visible from Southminster High Street because the buildings, walls, trees, etc get in the way. Note how small they are from this distance. A blight? Certainly not!

RidgeWind, the developer hoping to construct a nine turbine wind farm on the Dengie Peninsula, has produced a new computer generated image to dispel claims that the project will be visible from Southminster High Street.

SIEGE, the group campaigning against the Middlewick Wind Farm, believes that the turbines will be clearly visible from the village and have produced their own graphic to support this.

The image has been published in the local press and on their website and clearly shows three wind turbines dominating the skyline at the end of the High Street. It is captioned with: ‘Accurate scale illustration of the view of the Turbines from Southminster High St.’

In response, RidgeWind have employed one of the UK’s leading producers of wind farm visualisations to prove the SIEGE illustration is wholly inaccurate. Middlewick Project Manager Nigel Goodhew says: “A photograph was taken from the same perspective on the High Street as the SIEGE one, and using advanced computer technology the actual location and scale of each of the proposed Middlewick turbines in the landscape has been overlaid in red. The nearest turbine is approximately 3.0km away from the viewpoint location. This confirms that the wind farm will not be visible – in any way, shape or form – from this point of Southminster High Street, due to the build of the town and the distance to the wind farm.”

He added: “The Environmental Statement which accompanied the planning application for the Middlewick Wind Farm submitted to Maldon District Council included many visualisations, but not a viewpoint from Southminster High Street – because there is NO view of the site from this location. Sadly, SIEGE’s imagery is an example of misinformation which is portrayed to the local resident, which understandably will give unnecessary concern. We hope that our accurate illustrations will help at least dispel some of these myths. Middlewick is a fantastic opportunity to provide clean, British, green, energy whilst creating local jobs and investment in the Dengie peninsula.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

  • RidgeWind has submitted a planning application for a nine turbine wind farm for 25 years only.
  • The site is approximately 3km east of Southminster and 5km north east of Burnham-on-Crouch.
  • This application follows several years of robust ecological surveys, site assessments and a public exhibition.
  • Middlewick will create enough electricity to power 9620 homes – that’s 38% of all the homes in the Maldon district area
  • RidgeWind works to maximise the community benefit of its wind farms by contributing funds from their wind farms to Community Benefit Schemes managed by a local committee. The value of the Middlewick fund is likely to be between £36,000— £54,000 per year for the lifetime of the wind farm.
  • The planning application was submitted to Maldon District Council in January 2010 and 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.

Burnham-on-Crouch leafletted

Saturday, April 15th, 2006

Local environmentalists leaflet the vast majority of Burnham-on-Crouch. You can see the leaflet for yourself.