NoPilrow Resident Meetings/Sessions
NoPilrow are pleased to announce that their update meetings at Mark, Rooksbridge and East Brent were a resounding success, with in excess of a hundred people attending the three events. The majority of residents attended for the full two hours to discuss many issues.
Among these issues the most interest centred on the visual impact of the turbines on our environment, wildlife and countryside; the fact that all wind farms were subsidised at consumers expense and the belief that the views of the local population were likely to be ignored in deciding whether this project went ahead.
Most felt that they were being kept well informed on the issue through the press, the Nopilrow website and community focal points such as the Post Office, but wished to find out how they could support NoPilrow and most importantly help us to fight the planning application if and when it comes in.
Further meetings and actions are planned so that we can continue to support the majority of residents in opposing this monstrous proposal.
NoPilrow are aware that there are very few local people in favour of this development which Broadview themselves have said will have a significant impact upon the local area. It is interesting to note that “Farmers Weekly” have carried out an online Poll asking views on the impact of turbines to the countryside. The results from over 2000 votes have been decisive in that 88% of replies “believe wind turbines are a threat to the British countryside”.
Broadview’s wind farm exhibitions a great success !!
Well thats what it states on the Broadview website. Their website also states that a total of 45 people visited the Broadview exibitions held 20th February at Mark Village Hall and East Brent Village Hall. We know that quite a number of the people that attended. are against the proposed windfarm. We will let you make up your own mind, with regards to the level of support, Broadview really have from local residents.
New photo montage
NoPilrow Committee have released another photo montage ready for their Information sharing sessions at Mark, Rooksbridge and East Brent. The montage shows how the wind turbines would look from the motorway bridge at Rooksbridge, where the busy A38 and M5 cross.
Spokesman for NoPilrow, David Maund said "Now that the heights and positions of the turbines have been decided, we have used special software to give an impression of how the turbines might look if they were constructed. We are confident that we have done the best possible job with the resources we have. He went on to say "Even though we are a small village group, we feel we have managed to produce a relevant and descriptive montage. Although we have consistently requested through the media that they do so, Broadview have produced nothing even though they have the expertise and resources to do this quickly. We are anxious to see some of Broadview's montages as they will obviously play a large part in understanding what an enormous visual impact these structures will have on our locality."
NoPilrow are very concerned about the serious distraction that the four enormous 426ft high turbines may cause to the drivers on the busy M5 motorway. This will be especially relevant for motorists driving South and emerging from beneath the A38 bridge at Rooksbridge when they will immediately be presented with this scene. We believe that our montage highlights both the conflicting views that drivers will be presented with, and the possibility of accidents occurring due to drivers momentarily losing concentration, because of the immediate visual impact of these turbines.
East Brent Village Hall and Broadview Energy Donation to Solar Panels
The NoPilrow Campaign against the Rooksbridge Wind Farm wish to point out that one of our objects is to accept and encourage the use of appropriate renewable energy. In that sense we are pleased that the Village Hall Committee have erected solar panels on the roof of the Hall and will be making a profit through Feed In Tariffs, albeit at the expense of consumers through subsidies paid by them. In this case however the money paid out by these subsidies and the profit to the Village Hall is put straight back in for the community's benefit. This is in direct contrast to the proposal by Broadview Energy where the profit made by that company, again at consumers’ expense, will go into the pockets of individual and corporate financiers.
We understand that the request for this donation was made by the Hall Committee last year. It is clearly no coincidence that funds have been given to the project just a few weeks prior to Broadview’s expressed intention of putting forward a Planning
Application for the Pilrow Wind Farm. In addition it has been publicised at the same time as the completion of the installation and within days of Broadview putting on an exhibition at the Hall to support their Pilrow project. Broadview’s reasons and timings for making this payment could not be more obvious.
The Chairman of the Hall Committee has said that the donation was sought on the understanding that it did not represent support for the Pilrow project. This we feel has now been shown to be a somewhat naïve assessment of Broadview’s intentions in making the donation. Nowhere have we seen the company make this point in their publicity – nor would we have expected them to do so.
The language of the Press Release issued by Broadview makes it clear they are attempting to give the impression that their primary aim is altruistic by making a donation for community benefit. The inference is that there will be more benefit to come if the Wind Farm is developed. Unfortunately as we know the vast majority of benefit from this and other wind farms accrue only to companies and their backers.
This is nothing more than a blatant public relations exercise to try and make their image more acceptable to local residents. Fortunately such residents are well aware of exactly why Broadview have made this donation.
None of the other major donors to the solar panel scheme have felt it necessary to draw attention to their donations by a press release, circulation to local media, publishing their actions on a web-site, or sending e mails to all their supporters.
The Village Hall Trustees own the Village Hall on charitable trusts created in 1977 by East Brent Parish Council for the benefit of the community and have independently managed and maintained the Village Hall since then on the basis of that trust. There can be no doubt that in this they have done the village a great service. It has to asked however whether giving tacit support to Broadview, however unwittingly, can be accepted as being “for the benefit of the community”.
We would urge the Hall Committee to think again on this and return the donation to Broadview immediately.
Visit by Giles Chichester MEP to East Brent Parish - Thursday 23rd February
Mr Giles Chichester, Conservative MEP and Energy Spokesman for the ‘South West and Gibralter’ has kindly consented to visit East Brent and Rooksbridge at the invitation of NoPilrow Campaign against the Rooksbridge Wind Farm.
Timings are as follows
2.30 pm - Mr Chichester will arrive and be met by members of the committee,
3.00 – 3.30pm - A road tour around the planned site. He will be able to see for himself the existing Met Mast, which as we know is only a little over half the height and a fraction the width of the proposed turbines, and gauge for himself the effect
these proposed structures will have on the locality.
3.30 – 4.30 pm – Refreshments and discussion at Battleborough Grange where he is able to get a clear view of the levels and the visual and environmental effects these turbines will have on some of the most pleasing views of our Somerset countryside
It is expected that members from the East Brent Parish Council together with our County Councillor Mr John Denbee will be present at the occasion together with representatives of the Wells Conservative Association.
A photoshoot will be arranged at Battleborough and it is hoped that press representatives will be present for this and put any questions that they may have.
Campaign against two Wind Farms in Huntspill Area
The following is a message from our close neighbours in the Huntspill area that are also fighting againt the proposal to build windfarms. It is sugested that you visit the area yourself to see the blimp (can be seen between Junctions 22 & 23 of M5). Also the Huntspill group would welcome any additional support - so why not attend the meetings mentioned below.
As you may be aware there are two public meetings to take place regarding the wind farm applications organised by Sedgemoor District Council.
The Wind Farm Action Group has organised a blimp (balloon) to show the height of the proposed turbines to coincide with these meetings. The blimp will fly at 400ft demonstrating the enormous height these structures extend to.
The planning decision, likely to be made in March, will be made by the members who will visit the area on February 13th ahead of the meeting in the East Huntspill Village Hall that evening (start time 6pm). The blimp will be flown during that day.
On Thursday 16th February a similar meeting will take place in the Balliol Hall, West Huntspill (start time 6pm) regarding the Ecotricity application. These two meetings represent your final opportunity to make you feelings known to the council.
Despite all the rhetoric of the developers promising that there will be no noise disturbance at the Fullabrook wind farm in Devon, many people’s lives have been blighted as they are being kept awake at night with the constant thumping from the turbines. If you do not want to have your household similarly affected your last chance to act is now.
Thanking you in anticipation of your continued support.
Local residents visit Broadview Windfarm (04/02/12)
On Saturday 4th February a number of local residents (total of 7) visited a working windfarm in the midlands at Broadviews invitation. Information has been obtained from the visit via a local resident that took up Broadviews invitation. Please see below (obtained from resident and is shown as sent ie. no amendments made).
A Local Residents view of the Windfarm trip
On a very cold day (Saturday, 4 February), seven residents from East Brent and Mark took up the offer from Broadview Energy to visit a wind farm site at Low Spinney Farm in Leicestershire. Low Spinney Farm has four 125 metre high turbines which have been operating since September 2011.
A coach was provided by Broadview which took us to a viewing point about 1.2 km from the turbines. The landscape is rural much the same degree as the Pilrow site but quite undulating such that the turbines are not always fully visible depending on the viewing point. There are no prominent features such as Brent Knoll in evidence. At 1.2 km from the nearest turbine, there was no noise from the turbines. However, a strong wind was blowing which tended to mask any noise.
The group were then taken to the site access roads and onto the site itself. The site is close to the M1 motorway with the nearest turbines about 400 metres away. There are 3 villages in the vicinity, all more than 1 km away from the nearest turbine with a few farm buildings closer. We were told these are mainly the residences of owners of the land on which the turbines are built. We were promised on-site discussions with the local Parish Clerk but at the last minute she was unable to attend. A relative of one of the land owners did attend.
The group were driven on to the site to within 300 metres from the nearest turbine which was rotating about 2/3rds maximum speed. The noise at this point was not excessive but there was a strong wind blowing that detracted from the noise of the turbines.
Various points were discussed with the landowner’s relative concerning the build and operational aspects of the wind farm. He told us that Broadview had agreed to provide about £5,500 to each of the 3 villages nearby for various community projects.
My overall impression was that the Low Spinney Farm site is in an essentially different rural location than the proposed Pilrow site albeit similarly close to a motorway. The Low Spinney Farm area is undulating and the motorway not in evidence from some of the turbines. The area around Pilrow is very flat and the proposed turbines will be in evidence for many miles. Brent Knoll is a feature with views that will be significantly spoiled by even one turbine. Broadview agreed that if Brent Knoll was not there, the site would probably not have been chosen as the accelerated prevailing winds enhances the suitability of the site.
7 February 2012
Personal notes :-
I am not a member of the NoPilrow Group although I attend their meeting as I attend the Broadview presentation held within the Pilrow site area.
I am Chairman of the East Brent Harvest Home Committee and the East Brent Parish History Group.