Tag Archives: Ecotricity

Advertiser: Honda makes a full U-turn on turbines

Swindon Advertiser today ran the following article regarding Honda’s decision not to appeal the rejection of its wind turbine planning application:

CAMPAIGNERS have welcomed news car giant Honda will not appeal the council’s decision to reject its wind turbine plan. Continue reading Advertiser: Honda makes a full U-turn on turbines

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Advertiser – Honda disappointed at turbine decision

Swindon Advertiser today ran a more detailed article regarding the outcome of Thursdays planning committee meeting regarding Honda’s application for Wind Turbines:

The town’s second biggest employer has said bosses are disappointed after the council took the decision to reject their green plans.

On Thursday night, Swindon Council’s planning committee rejected Honda’s plans to put up three large wind turbines on its South Marston site.

It said the visual impact would be to much. Continue reading Advertiser – Honda disappointed at turbine decision

BBC – Honda’s wind turbine plans rejected – updated

The BBC ran the following article today regarding the Wind Turbine planning meeting last night:

Plans by Honda to build Wiltshire’s first wind turbines have been rejected.

The car company had proposed three wind turbines to power its plant near South Marston in partnership with energy supplier Ecotricity.

Planning officers had recommended Swindon borough councillors approved the plans.

However, councillors voted against the application by nine votes to three abstentions. Honda said it would now consider whether to appeal.

Residents said the 394ft (120m) high turbines would be be too large and noisy.

South Marston-based protest group Ill Wind said even though Honda had suggested scaling back the plans to two turbines they remained too close to homes at a distance of 1,935ft (590m).

Andy West, from the group, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic. We don’t want these turbines in Swindon because they’re totally unsuitable.”

Councillor Dale Heenan said the committee had been “between a rock and a hard place” when making the decision.

“On the one side, as councillors, we’re here to represent residents and on the other side of the argument the applicant is one of the biggest employers in the town.

“On balance the committee decided the application for the three wind turbines was inappropriate at this time.”

Honda had argued it was essential to keep its Swindon car and engine manufacturing site one of the world’s most efficient while also meeting internal targets to reduce its carbon footprint.

In a statement it said: “We are obviously very disappointed with the decision, however, we will be discussing our options with Ecotricity over the next few days.”

Advertiser – Council says no to wind turbines

A wind turbine at Greenpark, Reading, England,...
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The Swindon Advertiser reported last night on the outcome of the Wind Turbine planning meeting:

THERE was a standing ovation at the Wyvern Theatre tonight as hundreds of members of public performed miracles to prevent the erection of wind turbines at the Honda plant in South Marston. Continue reading Advertiser – Council says no to wind turbines

Swindon Advertiser – Ill Wind slam Honda’s compromise plans

A wind turbine at Greenpark, Reading, England,...
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Swindon Advertiser today ran an article regarding the upcoming planning meeting regarding Honda’s planning application for Wind Turbines on their site.

WIND turbine campaigners have slammed Honda’s formal offer to compromise over its plans – days ahead of a meeting to decide whether the controversial project can go ahead.

The car firm says it still wants to build three 120-metre turbines at its plant, in South Marston, but it is now offering Swindon Council the option to grant approval for only two turbines.

To support the alternative, Honda and green energy firm Ecotricity have submitted an additional environmental impact assessment document for just two turbines.

However, members of the Ill Wind campaign group say that removing the turbine – the one closest to Highworth Road – still means that two turbines will be too near to houses and could cause negative health effects.

A special meeting of the planning committee to determine the application will take place at the Wyvern Theatre on October 13 at 6pm, with doors opening at 5pm.

Des Fitzpatrick, 64, of South Marston, who is chairman of Ill Wind and will speak at the meeting, said: “They’re still applying for three, but even were they to apply for two, we wouldn’t be happy with that. What we’ve asked for is to see a minimum separation between turbines and houses of 2km and we’ve backed this up by saying this is a standard recommendation in Scotland and also on two bills in Parliament at the moment. So even with the two turbines option, they would be within 590 metres of residential housing so we wouldn’t be happy with that. “

“People typically think that the visual impact is the main concern, and of course that’s a concern: these turbines are half as big again as the David Murray John building. But also of great concern is the noise. There’s a lot of evidence that the closer you live to turbines, the more downsides there are. We have submitted evidence to the council that the turbines this close cause noise which will be detrimental to health and wellbeing.”

Andy West, 45, of Stratton, who is also a member of Ill Wind, said there was little difference in noise levels for many residents from the removal of the turbine – and claimed the only way to mitigate this would be to move the turbines further away.

He said: “It’s scant difference. The basic problem is no one should be living next to those turbines and people will be. You cannot play with people’s health like this.”

He added: “It’s critical that people go to the meeting to defend their homes and families.”

Colin McEwen, the former chairman of South Marston PC, said the two-turbine option would not really help South Marston.

He said: “It’s the turbine that’s closer to Stratton that may be removed so it doesn’t affect South Marston so much. The turbines closest to South Marston would remain even if that compromise was agreed. And those are just too big and too close to the village.

The turbines project is part of a bid by HUM to reduce its carbon emissions by a minimum of 30 per cent by 2020 to meet both environmental and financial pressures.

Mike Godfrey, the divisional manager and chief engineer at Honda UK Manufacturing (HUM), told the Adver this week, : “Either by design or through technical mitigations we have put in, the issues of flicker and vibration will not be an issue for our local residents.

“And that’s been verified by third party consultants, Halcrow, and approved by Swindon Borough Council’s planning officers.

To register to speak at the planning meeting, email Iain Tucker, the committee officer, at itucker@swindon.gov.uk or call 01793 463605 . The deadline to register is noon on October 12.

Swindon Advertiser: Anti-turbine campaigners warn ‘the battles not over yet’

Enercon E-66 wind turbine with an observation ...
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Swindon Advertiser, yesterday ran an article on the latest state of the Honda Wind Turbine planning application:

CAMPAIGNERS against giant wind turbines have issued a rallying cry: ‘We’re not out of danger yet’.

The Ill Wind campaign group is delivering around 5,000 leaflets to houses in the South Marston and Stratton area, warning supporters that despite an apparent concession over the number of turbines, “the risk to you is greater than ever before”.

The group fears the original plans for three wind turbines at Honda, not two, are still likely, and it is urging no let-up in the fight.

Ecotricity, the company behind the plan, says it will settle for two if that is what the council wants.

But Des Fitzpatrick, chairman of Ill Wind, casts the campaign as a David- versus-Goliath style battle against corporate spin, and urged residents “not to be fooled”.

He said: “Following recent press headlines, radio and TV broadcasts many people in Swindon now believe Honda have reduced their application from three turbines down to two.

“This just isn’t the case and we are distributing thousands of leaflets explaining that the application is still for three turbines – and pointing out that, even were Honda to go for two turbines, there would still be thousands of homes within the two kilometre zone that many authorities regard as too close.

“Though we are individuals battling against the spin machine of a multi-billion pound international company, we will continue to keep the people of Swindon informed of what is really happening.”

Ecotricity would build and own the 120 metre turbines, and Honda would host them at its South Marston factory. The firms have not withdrawn the original planning application for three turbines, but because of the massive public outcry, they did agree to settle for just two if they have to.

This suggestion was tacked on to the existing application, which is due to be voted on by the council’s planning committee later this year.

No date is yet set for this meeting, but it is likely to be in mid-October.

In a joint statement, Ecotricity and Honda reacted to the Ill Wind campaign.

The statement said: “The decision on whether three, two or no turbines are approved sits with Swindon Borough Council, but Honda and Ecotricity have made it clear that if they chose to approve two turbines we would accept this and progress with a development of only two.

“If only two turbines were approved, the same planning committee which had refused the third turbine, would have to approve any amendment to build a third, and this would, therefore, be very unlikely.

“There is no intent, nor would be any opportunity, to build a third turbine on this site if we received permission for two.

“The latest Ill Wind leaflet also repeats a number of falsehoods and inaccuracies about issues including vibrations, sleep and safety that are at risk of confusing or even scaring local people.

“We’d encourage people to contact us directly if they have any specific concerns.”

Ill Wind Update – Sept 2011 (updated)

Wind turbine
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Despite reports in the press, Ecotricity are still applying to build three turbines. Swindon Borough Planning Dept have stated ‘…..the application remains for the full three’.

Two turbines is an option the Planning Committee could choose if they reject the application for three turbines. Ecotricity would later apply to the Council to build the third turbine. This would be an easier process than submitting a new application or appealing against a refusal of their application for three turbines.

It is more important than ever that as many local residents as possible attend the next planning committee Meeting to protect their homes and families from the effects of the turbines.

We do not yet know the date and venue of the Planning Meeting when the revised application will be heard, but look out for the next illwind leaflet within the next week or so when we will have more information for you.

Visit illwind.co.uk for the latest news