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.”

Wind Turbines updates – 29th July 2010

Ecotricity LogoThere is also an article in today’s Evening Advertiser regarding the protest group setup regarding Honda and Ecotricity’s Wind Turbines. The article is available from here. The meeting described in the article is described here.

Isobel Downey from Ecotricity has provided a short statement on the subject:

Proposed wind turbines at Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd (HUM)

29th July 2010

Throughout the development of the proposals since 2006, Ecotricity and Honda have been available to answer any questions and queries about the proposals, and all queries received to date have been answered personally as they were received.

We held two public exhibitions at South Marston Village Hall and Meadowcroft Community

Rooms were on 24 and 30 June, where the full plans were on display for local people to view, and over 100 people attended. A dedicated webpage with key information and a regularly updated blog is also available at Ecotricity’s website.

Now the application has been submitted, members of the public can also view the complete planning application document at Swindon Borough Council’s planning department, and also submit their views to the council.

We have recently been contacted querying if these turbines will set a new precedent for being located to 600m from the nearest house in South Marston. Ecotricity have been successfully operating wind turbines for nearly 15 years and so have many sites within 600m of residential properties, including:

• Michelin Tyre factory, Dundee -340m from residential properties (tip height 120m) operational since 2006

• Swaffham, Norfolk – 335m from residential properties (tip height 120m) operational since 2003

• Green Park, next to the M4, Reading – 400m from residential properties (tip height 120m) operational since 2005.

If you have any further queries after reviewing this information, please do contact us at Ecotricity via Honda@ecotricity.co.uk and we will do our best to answer your queries quickly.

Emergency Village Meeting re: Wind Turbines – 29th July – Updated

Updated with change of venue

Date: Thursday 29th July

Time: 19:00

Where: South Marston Hotel

As you will be aware Honda & Ecotricity have applied to build on the edge of our village 3 x 410ft high Wind Turbines (equivalent to the height of the London Eye). They will affect us all!

  • Overshadow the village
  • Be a potential health hazard
  • Devalue our homes
  • Significant noise
  • Cause ground vibration
  • Strobing / flicker effect

We only have a limited time to object.

If you want to learn more and join the campaign then please come to the meeting.

If you can’t make the meeting email: amanda@aquileia.co.uk or Tel: 828636

For details of their plans click here, or search for Wind Turbines in the search bar at the top of the page.

New Photo Gallery: SMAWL Working Parties

The work done by SMAWL is demonstrating great community spirit within South Marston. To celebrate this, we have consolidated all of the photos taken during the Working Parties to date into a new photo gallery.

We are still hoping to add some other galleries to the website, e.g. Views of the Village, Historical photos. If you would like to provide some images for these or some other galleries, then please follow the details here.

SMAWL competition updates

Conservation and the environment were major features at this years’ fete with both the village conservation group (SMAWL) and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust having stands.

We have been overwhelmed at the number of entries we had to our conservation area design competition and wanted to show some of them to the village’ said Barry Thunder, chairman of SMAWL. ‘People were really impressed by the creativity and thought that had been put into them. We also took the opportunity to show people pictures of some of the work we have been doing and answer their questions about the site.’

Neil Burchell and I also had a lot of offers of help ‘ added Barry ‘ and we hope to see our numbers swelled at our next working party on Saturday the 24th of July and beyond.’

Several residents in the village contributed prizes to SMAWL, so that they could hold a prize draw at the fete and the lucky winners were.

Top prize of a Wicker Hamper of Bath Products from local company Aquileia was won by Kirsty Jones

Other prize winners were: –

  • Roy and Carol Chambers
  • Amanda Hancock
  • April Stoneham
  • Thomas Skey
  • Hazel Beaver
  • Tony Heath
  • Alex
  • April Chambers
  • J Tomlinson

Meeting Point – August 2010

Date: Saturday 7th August

Time: 09:30 – 12:00

Where: Village Hall, South Marston

Coffee morning with table top sales. Homemade cakes, tuck shop, gifts, cards. There’s always a variety of different things to see and buy each month – and you never know who you might meet.

Please book your table:

  • £5 for people who live in the village
  • £10 for those outside
  • free to village organisations

Refreshments provided by South Marston Church