A SURVEY has revealed local support for wind turbines at HMP Isle of Wight, it has been claimed.
Independent polling and market research organisation, JRA Research, carried out a telephone poll to find out the views of residents on the proposed Camp Hill wind turbines, which concluded 61 per cent of local people support the plans.
But the survey has been criticised by objectors to the scheme who branded the results "worthless."
Researchers, commissioned by Partnerships for Renewables (PfR), the applicants for the wind energy scheme on the edge of Parkhurst Forest, sought the views of residents living in three postcode areas in and around Newport, including the immediate neighbours of the site in Parkhurst.
Of the 274 interviews carried out, 61 per cent were in support of the project, 18 per cent were opposed and 22 per cent expressed no opinion either way.
Jerry Sturman, regional manager for PfR, said: "Although we acknowledge there is some opposition to our proposals at Camp Hill, we know from our own public consultation events and discussions with local residents there is also significant support for our planning application."
However, Dr John Yelland, who lives near the site and is against the plans, criticised how the survey was conducted.
He said: "When JRA rang, if you had a PO30 5 postcode they did not want to speak to you. Unless you were between the ages of 18 and 29 they did not want to speak to you. This makes the survey results worthless."
In response, a PfR spokesman denied they had only interviewed 18 to 29 year olds and said: "Because the telephone numbers were randomly generated, the interviewers had to check which postcode they were in.
"They needed to get the right proportion of interviews in each area and representative number in each age group, so if they were over represented in either of those, the interview would not continue."
The planning application for two wind turbines with a maximum height of 125 metres was submitted in April last year and is expected to be determined by the Isle of Wight Council in the next few months.
As previously reported, the scheme has been backed by Rob Sauven, MD of Isle of Wight-based Vestas Technology UK Ltd, which is likely to make the blades if the plans went ahead.