Swindon Advertiser: Residents in spin about turbines

On 30th July, Swindon Advertiser ran the following article about the Emergency Village Meeting regarding Honda’s proposed Wind Turbines:

AROUND 100 residents attended an emergency meeting to voice their opinions on Honda’s plans for three 120m wind turbines at their east Swindon site last night.

Ad hoc protest group Ill Wind called upon residents in Stratton and South Marston to raise objections before the consultation period ends on August 13 at a meeting at the South Marston Hotel.

Honda, in conjunction with green energy firm Ecotricity, are looking to follow several other buisness in using green energy to power its plant, including the Green Park in Reading. The three turbines combined would produce enough electricity to power 5,300 homes a year, an Ecotricity spokesman said.

Residents’ main concerns centred around noise levels, ‘shadow flicker’ and the height of the turbines. Ill Wind displayed flicker and noise maps, provided by Ecotricity, for residents to look at.

Neil Burchell, chair of the campaign, said the group wanted to inform people about the facts surrounding wind farms and wanted residents to make up their own minds.

What we want to do is to share with the villagers some of the concerns that have been raised,” he said.

We know we need new ways of powering our homes and wind farms are clearly part of that but we do feel they need to be in the right place.

“I don’t think we can be accused of being those who say ‘not in my back yard’ – we have two industrial estates and a dual carriageway nearby.

Mr Burchell said he had invited a representative of Ecotricity to the meeting but they had declined.

But he said he was hoping North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson and a representative form Ecotricity could attend a working group meeting next Thursday.

Ann Ensure, of Rural England, said residents needed to write to the council to appeal for more time.

We want an extension of timing to allow parish councils and working groups to tap into specialists who can look at this properly.”

Chris Bowdidge, 40, of South Marston said his main concern was for public health, particularly low frequency sound and vibrations.

There is a concern about low frequency sound waves which don’t seem to have had any recognition and can cause lung and heart problems.

Jill Hopes, 72, of Stratton, said she agreed with green energy but not with the proximity of the turbines.

She said: “I don’t want to oppose it or protest because I believe we need green energy but the size and distance of them is quite frightening.

A spokesperson for Ecotricity told the Adver on Wednesday: “Throughout the development, Ecotricity and Honda have been available to answer any questions and all queries received to date have been answered personally.”

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