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Απήχηση > 2014 > OUR SAFETY CONCERNS ARE NOT A STORM IN A TEACUP!

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26th November 2014

ANTI-WINDFARM CAMPAIGN GROUP RESPOND TO REPORT THAT SNAVE WIND FARM DEVELOPER IS WITHDRAWING FROM BATTLING LOBBYISTS IN ENGLAND TO CONCENTRATE ON SCOTTISH DEVELOPMENTS.

Members of S.O.M.B.R.E (Save Our Marsh Block Rural Exploitation) have responded cautiously following reports that the multi-millionaire owner of Ecotricity, Dale Vince, has decided to stop trying to get his proposals for new wind-farms past Planners.

 Mr Vince is one of the UK’s most vocal proponents of wind power and has made a large fortune from constructing wind farms across the UK. His company is one of a number that attract huge taxpayers subsidies to generate power. His main complaint is that only around 50% of new schemes are being approved and that Government Ministers are putting too many obstructions in the way of the new developments.

 Ecotricity has faced massive opposition to a proposal to install six 126.5m industrial turbines in the hamlet of Snave close to a historic listed church on the environmentally sensitive Romney Marsh, as well as four more turbines at a second site a few miles away near Sellindge, close to an area of outstanding natural beauty.

 S.O.M.B.R.E applauds the response of the Department for Communities and Local Government to Mr Vince's criticism. Junior Minister, Mr Kris Hopkins stated ‘Inappropriately sited wind turbines can be a blight on the landscape, harming the local environment and damaging heritage for miles around’.

 In an interview with The Times (25.11.14) Mr Vince blames the Tories and UKIP for his decision not to apply to build any more turbines across England’s green

and pleasant pastures. He claims that it would be a waste of money to progress projects that are likely to be rejected, especially since Secretary of State Eric Pickles has recently taken a more hands-on approach to the decision making for such developments by calling in applications and making the final decision himself.

In recent years, Planning Inspectors have ignored the valid concerns of many MP’s, local Councils, lobby groups and residents, and given the go ahead for unpopular on-shore turbine developments. Recently, Mr Pickles intervention has spearheaded the wind of change leading Mr Vince to bemoan ‘The success rate in planning has halved in the past couple of years entirely due to the efforts of the Tories’ He berates a change of heart in the Prime Minister, David Cameron who, he claims is aping UKIP policies which include ‘anti-on shore wind’ because he is scared of the political fallout.

 S.O.M.B.R.E Press Officer Mike Bartlett said: ‘This is a really good indicator that Ministers and Planners are finally listening to the concerns of the communities who will be forced to live with these projects and taking proper account of the impact they will have. For far too long no-one has been listening and wind farm operators have ridden rough shod over the views of local people and forced their plans through.

 S.O.M.B.R.E Leader, Patricia Rolfe commented ‘If the report is true then this is potentially good news however we wait to see whether Ecotricity follow through and cancel all their English projects. We are unsure if the Snave and Sellindge proposals are included in Mr Vince's moratorium but we will continue to vigorously campaign against any developer with plans for further wind farms on and around Romney Marsh. The concerns of local residents should not be ignored. We need to place a much higher value on the importance of the countryside and our senior and local politicians are entrusted with promoting and applying fair policies that protect and enhance our rural environment, not destroy it.’

 S.O.M.B.R.E will continue to oppose the proposed Old Romney wind farm on land owned by the Clifton-Holt family.

 E & O E

Damage to Romney Marsh Turbine Rekindles Safety Concerns

10th November 2014

OUR SAFETY CONCERNS ARE NOT A STORM IN A TEACUP!

A storm in the early hours of the 10th of November appears to have severely damaged one of the wind turbines at Little Cheyne Court on Romney Marsh, causing one of the 44 metre blades to fragment and throw debris from the central core of the blade to the ground. It is not clear if the turbine was struck by lightning or suffered a structural failure in the wind. Whatever the scenario it appears the 115 metre, 275 tonne turbine has suffered considerable damage and will probably be out of action for some time.
There are farm buildings in very close proximity to the turbine but fortunately on this occasion they dont appear to have sustained damage.

S.O.M.B.R.E. has consistently expressed valid concerns about the safety of these industrial units with clear evidence from sites in the USA and Europe proving that the turbines  can cause damage to land, property and people.
Blades on the the larger turbines can weigh in at around 18 tonnes and even bigger 200 metre monster turbines planned for the future will have substantially heavier ones fitted.
When severed from the main unit, a blade can travel a significant distance. S.O.M.B.R.E. supporters have gathered a wealth of data on these alarming events, which  are happening with increased frequency.  The Caithness Wind farm Information Forum has documented turbine related accidents up to 2012 see (Summary of Wind Turbine Accident data to 31.12.12 – www.caithnesswindfarms.co.uk).  The research shows that ‘blade failure’ where whole blades or pieces of blade are thrown from a turbine accounts for the largest number of accidents.  The report notes that pieces of blade are documented as travelling up to one mile from their source and in Germany, blade pieces have gone through the roofs and walls of nearby buildings.

Windbyte have gathered a huge amount of information relating to the the safety issues related to turbine and blade failure. Visit www.windbyte.co.uk

Last year the government issued revised Planning Permission Guidance in relation to renewable energy developments. S.O.M.B.R.E. supporters reacted cautiously to the news since the guidance omitted to impose a 2km ‘buffer zone’ on all future on-shore industrial wind turbine developments. Such a zone would prevent any onshore development from being sited too close to residential homes and other buildings.

Last night’s storm appears to have severely damaged one of the wind turbines at Little Cheyne, on Romney Marsh causing one of the 44 metre blades to fragment and throw debris from the central core of the blade to the ground. It is not clear if the turbine was struck by lightning or suffered a structural failure in the wind. Whatever the scenario it appears the 115 metre 275 tonne turbine has suffered considerable damage and will probably be out of action for some time.


Members of the campaign group S.O.M.B.R.E. have consistently expressed valid concerns about the safety of these industrial units with clear evidence from sites in the USA and Europe proving that the turbines can cause damage to land, property and people.
 
The latest casualty – this time much closer to home – is one more statistic that supports our claim that wind turbines should be sited off shore.  Developers are currently pushing for more turbines at Old Romney (APPLICATION REF: Y13/0048/SH)
and Snave (APPLICATION REF: Y13/0852/SH)
despite strong and vocal opposition from a large number of local parish and town councils, interest groups and residents.  Such sites are not appropriate given the proximity of residential homes, and – as at Snave, a listed church. 
 
When severed from the main unit, a blade can travel a significant distance. S.O.M.B.R.E. supporters have gathered a wealth of data.  The Caithness Wind farm Information Forum has documented turbine related accidents up to 2012 (Summary of Wind Turbine Accident data to 31.12.12 – www.caithnesswindfarms.co.uk).  The research shows that ‘blade failure’ where whole blades or pieces of blade are thrown from a turbine accounts for the largest number of accidents.  The report notes that pieces of blade are documented as travelling up to one mile from their source and in Germany, blade pieces have gone through the roofs and walls of nearby buildings.
 
Last year the government issued revised Planning Permission Guidance in relation to renewable energy developments. S.O.M.B.R.E. supporters reacted cautiously to the news since the guidance omitted to impose a 2km ‘buffer zone’ on all future on-shore industrial wind turbine developments. Such a zone would prevent any onshore development from being sited too close to residential homes and other buildings.
 
Mike Bartlett - S.O.M.B.R.E. press officer said : "In this instance the debris has not been projected far but the manner in which the blade has delaminated obviously increases the potential for debris to be thrown, or even carried on the wind, over substantial distances. There are farm buildings just a short distance from the damaged turbine where people regularly work."
 
Patricia Rolfe – Leader of S.O.M.B.R.E. commented “The 26 turbine development at Little Cheyne went ahead despite huge opposition to the scheme.  Safety concerns were raised at that time, and we continue to highlight the issue of safety as speculative developers threaten to install further turbines across the Marsh plain. They say lightning never strikes twice – well we are saying once is enough -  No more turbines on the Marsh!”
 


Higher resolution images are available 
Photo credit  S.O.M.B.R.E.

Please join us in our fight to oppose further such developments on the environmentally sensitive Romney Marsh.

 For further information pleases visit our website. 

E & O E 


Patricia Rolfe – SOMBRE Group Leader

Mike Bartlett – SOMBRE Press Officer

Philip Dunn – SOMBRE Member

Guy Landymore – SOMBRE Renewable Energy Adviser

Andrea Williams – SOMBRE Member

SNAVE TEST MAST - APPEAL granted

 


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