Archive for the ‘Yellow Advertiser’ Category

More turbines, less view

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005

Isle of Grain refinery

FARM LAND: The Isle of Grain refinery site, above, where BP wants to build a wind farm similar to the one off the Southend shore, top

PLANS for a second wind farm off the Southend coast have sparked fears the famous Thames view could be ruined.

BP aims to create 14 giant wind turbines at its vacant refinery on the Isle of Grain.

If planners back the move, the 160-metre windmills will compliment those already seen at the mouth of the estuary to the east.

A spokesman for BP said the turbines are likely to power 12,500 homes.

Prof Bernard de Neumann, chairman of the Leigh Cliff Association, called on anyone interested to attend a public exhibition at Grain Village Hall, in Chapel Road, on Friday September 20, from 11.00am to 9.00pm.

“This wind farm will affect views over the estuary markedly if it proceeds,” he said.

BP said talks were ongoing with bird and other wildlife groups about the impact of the turbines on the environment.

If approved it will be the first BP backed farm in the UK, although the firm already has two in the Netherlands.

The island refinery closed in the early 1980s and has been used as a fuel storage site ever since.

The BP spokesman said the firm was keen to move into developing its “renewables ” business further. Wind and solar energies are seen as more profitable as fossil fuels continue to become more expensive to recover.

The spokesman added: “If we can produce more renewable power we hope its something we can offer our customers.”

Farm could draw the tourists

Wednesday, June 29th, 2005


Farm could draw the tourists

THE world’s biggest windfarm is proposed and Councillor Garston (in charge of sustainable Southend) is lukewarm about it because it may not benefit Southend!

Has he heard of eco-tourism, people have been cruising out to see the wartime forts for 50 years, imagine how many people would come to Southend to cruise the majestic sight of 270 wind turbines.

Essex’s reputation would rise worldwide and the power industry will beat a path to our door to find out more.

The pollution saved by the wind farm will contribute to the worlds air becoming more breathable and inspired by our example, such farms will be built all over the globe.

Richard Faraway
Sunrise Healthfoods

Monstrosity of turbines will spoil scenery for all

THE question of having wind farms and erecting wind turbines is being discussed more and more.

Some areas in Britain do not want monstrous tall turbines built in beautiful scenic areas, in hill-top or seaside locations.

Recently people have erected them in their own back gardens much to their neighbours annoyance because of the noise and the height of the towers.

Wind turbines need not be tall and noisy.

Former Soviet weapons scientists have developed turbines that are almost silent and of a size that could be fitted on top of houses, supplementing existing power supplies.

This group are developing a turbine where the blades revolve around the vertical axis and is much shorter portable and requires little maintenance.

This means the turbines would be less visible and less noisy than the present ones we have.

British companies should be looking at all types of designs that would make the presently designed tall towers less than half the size they are.

This would give villages and towns like Southend more clean power without spoiling the scenery and the environment around us.

John Anderson
Canvey Independent Party
Councillor for Canvey Central

Tidal power will beat the wind

I DO NOT know what all the fuss is about with an offshore wind farm when we have abundant, controllable energy from tidal power on our own doorstep which is not subject to the whims of the wind.

All that’s needed is a new seawall before the Thames’ deep water commences stretching from Canvey to the other side of the pier to form a lido/lagoon.

With two tides of trapped water a day and by the use of turbines set in the wall there would be sufficient electrical power to serve the whole of Southend.

If the wall were to be constructed as a future flood barrier and wide enough for a dual tolled carriageway with locks for yachts and fishermen, an added benefit would be to relieve traffic congestion around the town without impingement on the landward side.

In 1997 this multimillion pound scheme, detouring from the Saddlers Farm roundabout via Canvey, was proposed as a Millenium Project but the Governemnt preferred a more expensive pleasure dome.

Ed Jackman
The Leas

[ thinks this is a ghastly idea, almost as damaging as building a nuclear power station on Two Tree Island]

Windfarm is what we need

OBJECTORS to the proposed huge windfarm in the Thames Estuary should think about the alternatives.

On the one hand, if the Greenland ice cap melts, seas will rise by seven metres and we won’t have a Foreshore from which to admire the view.

On the other hand, the front runners are either wind power or nuclear power. From even a NIMBY point of view, the great advantage of wind power is that it is not only cheaper but, when finished with, can be dismantled. We would be stuck with nuclear power stations for at least 30 years and with their deadly waste for virtually forever, And we still haven’t found a safe haven for the last 50 years’ worth.

One can understand those wanting to preserve our view over the Thames but I would think their wrath would be better directed at the giant chimney of the disused power station opposite us on the Isle of Grain dominating the entire landscape, rather than a few dots on the horizon to the east.

John West
Southend and District CND

Is he whistling in the wind?

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2005


Is he whistling in the wind?

I READ with interest the positive and encouraging report on the proposed London Array Offshore Wind Farm in the Yellow Advertiser.

The facts you present are indeed true, and the development will, as with all such developments, have to undergo a full Environmental Impact Assessment before it can be approved.

What astounded me was that a local councillor (David Garston) was able to comment negatively in such an apparently authoritative way.

He is an ardent supporter of the Southend Relief Road – a project guaranteed to cause considerable damage to the green belt – yet somehow he has an objection to something off the coast of Southend that he will struggle to see on a clear day.

Wind energy has the potential to offset burgeoning climate change. Offshore wind power is a largely objectionless form of generation which, once cleared as no risk to migratory bird patterns, will have an enormously positive effect on everyone who wishes to see their land remain green – their coasts remain stable and their air remain breathable.

Any enterprising boat owner in Southend could, Mr Garston would be relieved to hear, even market boat trips to the wind farm.

David Garston clearly has some axe to grind, but it seems to be with the people of Southend, not just the wind farm developers.

Keith Farnish

Seize this better way

I WAS astonished to hear that councillor Garston, portfolio holder for sustainable development, should oppose the excellent opportunity for zero-emission energy provided by the proposed off-shore wind farm development in the Thames estuary.

Surely he must know that UK oil production peaked in 2002 and has been in decline ever since.

In 2004, UK oil production fell by nearly 10 per cent, making us ever more reliant upon foreign imports.

A huge proportion of the nation’s oil and gas is set to come from former Soviet countries, which are likely to remain in turmoil for decades to come.

Not only can we be sure that supplies will suffer interruption, there is a very real danger that even more British troops will be killed attempting to ensure security of supply.

In a world where nations will compete ever more fiercely for diminishing resources, most of us know there is a better way.

We must seize every energy efficiency opportunity, so using much less energy, and get as much energy as we can from new sources – chief of which being wind.

Not only is the planet’s climate at stake, so too is the nation’s security.

Name and address supplied

Alternatives badly needed

I FEEL that I have to write to comment on the wind farm article published in the June 15 edition.

I am consistently stunned by the narrow-minded, selfish comments of the bureaucratic minority who appear to have not even the slightest regard for our environment and the well-being of the planet in general.

Do these people not realise that renewable, sustainable energy is desperately required, not in a few hundred years, not in a few years, but today?

Putting a block, or even a negative comment, on a project such as the off-shore wind farm is tantamount to advocating ecological suicide.

What this planet needs is more wind, tidal, geothermal, solar and hydro-electric generators, not more ways to exploit the easy pickings of oil and gas.

The greatest polluters of green-house gasses are power stations and they need to be replaced immediately with no real concern of “it may spoil the view”, or “well, it costs a lot of money”.

I would much rather see a wind farm than an oil refinery or power station, and the money is well spent if it buys us back our planet – which, I might add, is the only one on the market.

As for noise pollution, how many people live next to a main road and learn to ignore it – I did.

I can only applaud London Array Limited and hope that more companies follow their lead, there is too much distrust, snide comment and general apathy going around – we need to act and act FAST.

Please, everybody, get informed. Find out about global warming, global dimming, ways to save energy and be energy efficient.

One person may not make a difference on their own, but sixty million ‘One persons’ CAN.

Tony Wren
address withheld

Danger in attitude

DAVID Garston’s reaction that “Southend isn’t going to benefit” from an offshore windfarm would be laughable if it wasn’t so dangerous.

As the polar ice caps continue to melt – a process which is already underway – and sea levels continue to rise, the danger to these low-lying areas increases. It is not a question of if floods will occur, it is when.

As a coastal town, Southend will be in the front line when the worst excesses of global warming take effect so anything that we can do to alleviate and delay these effects will be of direct benefit to the town.

Many parts of Southend are under severe threat from flooding already because land has been developed at, or only a little above, sea level.

We can forgive those administrations who built houses more than 30 years ago because they cannot have known about global warming. However, that is no longer the case.

Tragically, all our current council can think about is how to cram more and more houses into the east of the town, which, as the lowest-lying area, will be flooded first.

Peter Walker,
East Street,

The start of windpower?

Wednesday, June 15th, 2005
The start of windpower?

SOMETHING ON THE HORIZON: Yellow Advertiser's chief photographer Mark Cleveland took this shot from Shoebury East Beach. It clearly shows a series of mystery white structures out at sea, miles beyond the war-time wooden submarine boom in the foreground. Surely work hasn't started on constructing the wind turbines just yet?

£1.5bn plan to build 270 turbines offshore

THE WORLD’S biggest wind farm could be built off the coast of Southend by 2008 if plans submitted this week be given the go-ahead.

The plans to build hundreds of wind turbines at a cost of £1.5bn were handed over to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Monday by a consortium of companies known as London Array Limited.

The wind farm, made up of 270 turbines, could generate enough electricity for either the whole of Essex, all of Kent and east Sussex, or one quarter of London.

The turbines would be situated around 12 miles east of Southend and would be ‘just about visible’ from land. They would take up around 152 square miles of the Thames Estuary.

The consortium of companies, which includes Shell WindEnergy Limited, E.ON UK Renewables, and CORE Limited, won the right to lease the offshore in 2003.

A spokesman for the consortium said: “The site is ideal because the UK is one of tthe windiest parts of Europe, meaning power will be constantly generated.

Andrew Murfin, vice president of development for Shell WindEnergy, said that the planned site would not be a disruption to the coastline and will not be a noise nuisance.

He explained: “The planned site is 12 miles off of the coast meaning that it would only look like tiny pins on the horizon on an extremely clear day.

“The beneficial aspect of wind power is that more energy will be generated in winter when the wind is stronger. which is the time of year when people use more electricity.”

FoE renewables manager, Nick Raw, said: “We have been pushing for companies like Shell and BP to move into renewables for a long time now. They are now putting real money into these projects.”

However, Southend Council’s portfolio holder for sustainable Southend, David Garston, was less positive about the plans.

He said: “On the face of it Southend isn’t going to benefit from this. We wont have any advantages, yet we will have all the environmental disadvantages.

“It is worrying that the wind farm could spoil the view from the foreshore. I would like to know a lot more about it.”

Potential obstacles to the wind farm getting the green light include shipping hazards, radar interference, the impact on wildlife and the envonment, and interference with low-flying aircraft.

Officials say it could take up to a year before the DTI makes its final decision on whether or not to give the consortium permission to construct the wind farm.

  • What do you think? Is this a major step forward in the production of renewable energy, or is Southend’s coastline being used for something which may not benefit the town? Write to Suzi Muston, Southend Yellow Advertiser, Acorn House, Great Oaks, Basildon, Essex, SS14 1AH.