Library filed under Impact on Economy from Europe
A Shetland businessman says his livelihood is threatened by a windfarm plan. Paul Featherstone rears around 180,000 sea trout smolts annually at his hatchery in Weisdale, which - after having been grown into sizable fish in sea cages - are being sold as organic sea trout to customers throughout the UK. His business, Shetland Sea Trout Ltd, heavily depends on continually pristine water qualities in the Burn of Weisdale, which feeds the tanks baby fish are being kept in. Yesterday, he said that plans to build around 30 of the 168 turbines planned upstream of his hatchery would "seriously" affect his business. Mr Featherstone's fear is that due to major construction and engineering work the peat bog in the upper half of the Kergord Valley will be destabilised and thus massive peat run offs will flush through the Burn of Weisdale.
Our report described how generators are favouring on-shore wind farms because they are much cheaper to develop than technology such as offshore wind or tidal power. Therefore, the Government is considering changing its policy to offer more ROCs per MWh for more expensive technology. This could reduce the amount of money companies can make from wind farms. However, this will not change until 2009, and any wind farm that is already established by that point will not be affected. For that reason, there is a suspicion that firms are racing to acquire sites before the cut-off point - and the huge amount of money they can make from ROCs mean they can afford to offer large payments to landowners who are willing to allow turbines to be erected.
Landowners in the North-East are being offered staggering sums of money to site wind farms on their property, The Journal can reveal today. A contract seen by The Journal for a site in the region could see the landowner rake in more than £6m for agreeing to the turbines. It demonstrates the huge temptation for landowners, who are offered a guaranteed income way in excess of what they could gain from any other source, for no outlay of their own. And it also illustrates the prices power companies are willing to pay due to the massive incomes they themselves can generate through a Government subsidy system for wind power.
Nothing can erase this UK-wide report from the historical record, but there are now claims that a new survey by Oxford Brookes University and RICS shows that windfarms do not impact on property value. Ifwe look carefully at this survey, it is based on two small windfarms in Cornwall where the turbines are less than 60m tall compared with the present industry standard of 120m and proposals by Gamesa for 180m (600 ft) giants in south Wales. The authors of this new report are more honest than the windpower developers with their warning that: "... as more windfarms are built, more property will become proximate. Therefore, a cautious approach should be adopted until a larger and more in-depth study can be undertaken." The wind promoters understandably ignore this "health warning".
The landscape of Shetland could be changed forever if the giant windfarm project goes ahead, those in the tourism industry told representatives from Viking Energy at a meeting on Wednesday. Members of Shetland Tourism Association, including accommodation providers and tour operators, expressed concern about the size of the proposed development, which could see as many a 192 turbines being erected in the central and north-east mainland. They feared the visual impact of the windfarm would deter tourists, although this was disputed by David Thomson of Viking Energy who produced the results of surveys carried out in other parts of the UK that windfarms made no difference. A suggestion was made to give questionnaires on the subject for tour guides to give to tourists.
The majority of people living near wind turbines believe that the noise they make is ruining their health and quality of life, a report has revealed. Neighbours also claim that the constant hum and the loud "whooshing" sound made by the blades in high winds is destroying the value of their homes. A survey of people whose homes are situated within 1.2 miles of turbines has shown that three-quarters of them feel that the noise has damaged their quality of life while four out of five say it has affected their health.
A family who live in the shadow of a wind farm in Lincolnshire say they have "lost everything" just because of the noise it makes. Farmer Julian Davis, his wife Jane and their teenage daughter have already had to rent a separate house to sleep in because they are kept awake by the sound of the eight turbines. They claim their home, formerly worth £170,000, cannot be sold because it is so blighted by noise pollution but they may abandon it anyway. http://www.windaction.org/documents/7337
Noise from our local wind farm 1,000 yards away has destroyed our lives.The constant swish would just about be bearable, but the thumps and whacks are not. And then there's the hum. We would do anything to be able to live and sleep in our own home again, but sadly, as our home is no longer worth anything, we are trapped. To sleep at night, we drive five miles to a quiet house we have rented. The Government says noise pollution is an issue, albeit of low priority, but by allowing wind farms to be built close to homes (no less than two kilometres is the French recommendation) they are creating and propagating more noise pollution. Those of us unfortunate enough to live or work near these so-called friendly giants lose everything.
Wind farm proposals for remote and scenic parts of Scotland are always controversial, but the public must now consider the issue of how best to transmit the extra electricity generated. A lot of power is to be generated in the sparsely populated and windy west of Scotland and then transmitted south to consumers. While wind farms may be unsightly to many and are considered to blight the landscape, proposed power pylons needed to carry hundreds of miles of overhead lines across hills and glens are potentially more harmful to the environment and tourism.
Candidates lining up for a crack at the Clwyd West Assembly seat are being urged to blow political hot air in the direction of a controversial renewable energy issue. Llanrhaeadr yng Nghinmeirch county councillor Paul Marfleet is urging current Clwyd West AM Alun Pugh and prospective candidates to consider the concerns of Nantglyn residents over proposals for more wind turbines to be situated near the village. Residents are concerned over plans for 29 new wind turbines around the village by two companies, Windpower Wales and Tegni Cymru Cyf.
Residents living in one of Scotland's tourist havens yesterday told how proposals for two towering wind turbines in the coastal village had instantly "divided" their community. Alarm bells sounded at Ullapool, Wester Ross, as news spread that local energy firm, the ironically named Invisible Heating Systems (IHS), had submitted plans for two 80ft wind turbines beside its premises.
Campaigners have won their battle to overturn plans for a five-turbine windfarm on the unspoiled coastline of the Solway Firth. Around 1,000 villagers, visitors and business owners from Allonby and the surrounding area sent letters of objection to Allerdale Council when Nuon Renewables submitted plans to build the 102m turbines at Brownrigg Hall Farm, just outside Allonby. Today councillors on the Allerdale development panel rejected the plans on the grounds the windfarm would have a detrimental visual impact in the landscape and harm tourism in the area.
Statement from JANE DAVIS of Deeping St. Nicholas.
He said the national view of VisitScotland, on windfarms, was summed up by the following statement. "VisitScotland understands and supports the drive for renewable energy and recognises the potential of Scotland's vast resource. As a consequence, VisitScotland is not against the principle of windfarm development. "Research carried out by an independent consultancy was inconclusive and reflected a split in visitor opinion between those strongly against windfarm development of any kind and those who said in some areas it actually enhanced what was otherwise a bleak and unattractive landscape. "However, VisitScotland is becoming increasingly concerned over the proliferation of speculative development proposals, many of them in areas of high landscape or scenic value or in locations which directly impact on tourism operations or activity. "The local area network offices are aware of this concern and are keeping a close eye on development proposals affecting their areas. "In cases where it is clear that in VisitScotland's opinion tourism will be affected in a negative manner, representations will be made through the formal planning process. "VisitScotland will, however, not get involved in open public debate in the media prior to applications being formally submitted.
WIND farm development in the Borders has been as controversial as elsewhere in the country, but one thing communities in the region are agreed about is that any community benefit payments made by the developers should go to the settlements most affected. Proposals to have a centrally administered fund have been rejected by a majority of community councils in the Borders and now Scottish Borders Council is looking at drawing up guidelines - A Community Benefits Toolkit - to provide a voluntary protocol for both communities and developers to follow while negotiating payments.
Question marks were raised yesterday over plans to make council-owned land in Northumberland available to wind farm developers. In a move aimed at both demonstrating the county council's `green' credentials and raising much-needed income, executive members agreed in principle to the use of the authority's land assets for wind energy generation.
Offshore wind farms could seriously damage tourism in some of the country’s most scenic beauty spots, it was warned yesterday. Failte Ireland is particularly concerned about plans to build up to 400 wind turbines off the coastline between Killiney, Co Dublin and Arklow, Co Wicklow. All of them, at 160 metres-high, would be visible from the shoreline. Failte Ireland said it was not ‘anti-wind farm’ but had to protect the country’s tourism industry.
Controversial plans for a windfarm near a country park have been ruled out. A proposal to build 19 turbines - each around 300ft high - in Kelburn Estate, near Largs in Ayrshire, has been rejected in the face of major opposition. Planning chiefs said the windfarm posed a threat to the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park environment and the tourism industry.
The economic growth of the region would be affected if a windfarm was built, according to a former Government economist. The evidence was heard on the 20th day of the Humberhead Levels Windfarm Inquiry into two proposed windfarms in northern Lincolnshire.The submission was given by Stephen Nicol, managing director of Regeneris Consulting - a specialist economic and regeneration consultancy - on behalf of Doncaster Sheffield Robin Hood Airport. His summary was based on evidence by Barry Hawkins, a former air traffic controller, which demonstrated the number of aircraft which the airport could handle would be reduced. According to Mr Hawkins, the radar systems would be affected by ‘clutter’ caused by the 34 windturbines proposed by Renewable Energy Systems (RES) between Keadby and Crowle. Aircraft approaching from the east of the airport would be masked by the clutter, meaning only one could pass through the windfarm site at any time - consequently reducing the volume of traffic the airport could handle. This, explained Mr Nicol would affect the planned growth of the airport. Reading from his summary of proofs of evidence, Mr Nicol said: “Robin Hood Airport has, as yet, far from reached its full economic potential.