Firm appeals against wind farm rejection

By Emily Pearce

Monday, January 21, 2013

 

UPDATED 15:55*

THE company behind plans for a wind farm in the West Wight, rejected by the Isle of Wight Council last July, has appealed against the decision.

Dorset-based renewables company Infinergy announced today (Monday) it had lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate against the refusal of the Vectis Wind Farm.

As previously reported, the council's planners rejected proposals for five 100-metre turbines on farmland near Wellow and Thorley due to the adverse visual impact it would have on the character of the landscape and surrounding Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Infinergy managing director Esbjorn Wilmar said: "We have studied the proposed site in detail over the past number of years and have demonstrated it is one of the best locations for a wind farm on the Isle of Wight and one which deserves to be approved. Our site sits outside the AONB and other environmental designations.

"Although less vocal, there are a lot of Island residents who support the project and would be happy to see it go ahead.

"The Isle of Wight has set ambitious targets in their newly adopted Island Plan. It has a viable but unharnessed wind resource and the resolve to become an energy self-sufficient Ecoisland. Unfortunately the reality is far from this and if Ecoisland is to be realised, wind farms such as Vectis are urgently needed. But whether or not Vectis Wind Farm is to make a significant contribution to these goals is of course up to the planning inspector.

"We are confident an examination of the facts about this project, at public inquiry, will conclude it is a well-designed scheme that will help the island meet its renewable energy targets and should, on balance, be allowed to proceed."

*However, anti-turbine protest group ThWART said the council had made the right decision.

Deputy chairman Bob Denman said: "ThWART, backed by its 3,000 supporters, will continue its vigorous opposition to the giant wind turbines at Wellow and will be acting in full support of Isle of Wight Council in its defence against this planning appeal."

Following the appeal submission, the Planning Inspectorate will announce a date and venue for a public inquiry in due course.

Reporter: emilyp@iwcpmail.co.uk

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