Vestas' Isle of Wight Research and Development Centre on the River Medina. Picture by Robin Crossley.
ENVIRONMENTAL concerns last night (Thursday) led Isle of Wight Council watchdogs to oppose plans to treat wind turbine blade firm Vestas as preferred bidder for the former landfill site at Stag Lane.
As previously reported, the wind turbine manufacturer has approached the local authority seeking preferred bidder status for the site, next to the Newport to Cowes cycleway, after controversial £130 million plans for a biomass plant there were dropped by developers Real Energy.
Vestas owns the adjacent West Medina Mills site, which is home to its £50m research and development centre.
Previous estimates for decontaminating only half the site, which contains animal carcasses, fuel oils, clinical and construction waste, range from £3.5m to £5m.
At last night’s overview and scrutiny committee, Cllr Wayne Whittle said he feared disturbing the site could open up a can of worms with local contamination.
Stuart Love, director for economy and environment, said site monitoring would be required before any work could proceed while any developer would have to satisfy the council and its consultees there would be no impact on the environment.
Council leader Cllr Ian Stephens said it was still very early days and the council had not yet had detailed discussions with the company.
The cabinet recommendation split the committee with four votes in favour and four against.
Overview and scrutiny chairman, Cllr Geoff Lumley, made the casting vote against the proposal due to environmental concerns.