Purbeck District Council have been considering a planning application for a wind farm.
The four large turbines (each 2.3MW) will be situated on the Puddletown Road, west of Wareham.
This is the website of the campaign to get these turbines built.
Latest News 7th July 2012
Alaska wins appeal!
The inspector listened to all sides and made a professional judgment in favour of the project.
We welcome this news and see this as a positive step for Dorset because once built, people will see just how benign these turbines are.
Read the complete decision notice below..
Alaska Decision Letter-1.pdf
Size : 357.362 Kb
Type : pdf
Latest News 11th April 2012
Today the Planning Inspector opened the developers appeal against Purbeck District Council's decision to turn down their plans for the wind farm.
It looks like it's going to be a long-winded affair lasting 9 days, and even then a decision isn't expected for another 3 months.
This time the decision will be made by a professional, based on facts and realities rather than the curious deliberations of the last Council meeting.
Comments and support can be registered here;http://www.pcs.planningportal.gov.uk/pcsportal/ViewCase.asp?caseid=2161905&coid=48128
Once again we can take heart and begin to hope to see a more elegant form of power generation come to Dorset.
When they first heard there were going to be four giant wind turbines on their doorsteps, villagers feared the worst. But now even some of the most hardened protesters have admitted fears over the noise have come to nothing.
Beware of the Renewable Energy Foundation -
Well now we do have an opportunity to have an offshore wind farm with the plans being drawn up for the 'Navitus Bay Wind Park', south west of Durlston, south east of the Isle of Wight.
But even this is drawing complaints that it will spoil the view. This argument doesn't really hold up though because
A) most people think wind turbines look attractive and
B) we cannot afford to be so precious about every single viewpoint - sorry if that sounds a bit harsh but if we are to maintain a world capable of supporting the rich variety of life that we now see, we have to stop adding to the CO2 in the atmosphere right now, not in a few years time when we can hope something will come along to make it all better, by then it will be too late, some very real progress has to be made before we reach 400ppm (we are currently at 392).
More information can be found here ... http://www.navitusbaywindpark.co.uk/
31st March 2011
If I wanted to stop a road being built and I found a rare snail living in the way, I would have to get hard evidence to stand a chance and even then would probably have to camp out in a wood to make anyone listen, but that doesn't seem to be the case for wind farms, no all you have to do is regale the Planning Board with wild and unsubstantiated claims such as the risk of disturbing secretly buried nuclear waste or the issue of shadow flicker on Binnegar Hall Care Home, which is to the South of the turbines and the last time I looked we live in the Northern Hemisphere!
One Councilor cited concerns about disturbing asbestos which is known to be buried in Hines Pit, despite the fact that the nearest turbine is well over 125m from the Pit and the Planning Officer telling her there was no danger, she still preferred to listen to the opponents scare stories! Does this sound like an unbiased, responsible attitude?
Unfortunately, these are the people shaping our future.
What I find particularly galling is to listen to people saying, "I'm all in favour of renewable energy, but this isn't the right place." So if a worked out gravel quarry outside the AONB, on the Puddletown road isn't then where is the right place for Dorset?
Of course we're all gutted but it's also a sad day for democracy as there is no doubt that the majority of Purbeck people support this project and a sad day for our youngsters who will have to live with the legacy of these dinosaurs.
This is the original extrodinary 'photomontage' circulated by DART, can you see the tiny houses next to the turbines? They are meant to be over 1km away from the wind farm.
On the back there is the very incorrect claim that "In practice, the wind in the UK is only sufficient for such turbines to generate power for about 25% of the time" (it's actually about 70-80%) and a section to add your name to a petition. And they wondered why nobody took their petition seriously????
30th March 2011
Tomorrow (31st March) at Furzebrook village hall (note change of venue) at 9am, the planning board will meet to discuss the planning conditions for the Alaska wind farm project.
The opponents are throwing everything they can at this, I'm sure they will be dragging in people from all over Dorset and have even had to publish directions on how to find Furzebrook on their website which is laughable really as they claim to represent locals who all know where Furzebrook is!
Whilst on the subject of DARTs website, they have put up pictures of their impression of how the wind farm will look using the old trick of zooming in with a telephoto lens, this makes the turbines look much larger than they would to the naked eye. Whilst apparently some have been taken with a 50mm lens (closest you can get to the human eye), these pictures are not identified so we don't know which ones they are.
In another bizarre twist, I have heard of an anonymous letter being circulated claiming a) that the landowner will get thousands of pounds from the tax-payer (which isn't true), b) if a turbine catches fire an area 125' around the base could be disturbed and release asbestos waste which was once buried in the middle of the night, (there is no asbestos under the turbines) and finally c) there is also an allegation of nuclear waste being buried there! One commentator described this as desperate with a capital D.
So as you can see, it could be a lively meeting, please come along to support it and if you're not sure where Furzebrook village hall is, look it up on DARTs website ;-)
Now we all know that CPRE and DART haven't always been, shall we say 'accurate' with their information but we're up for giving everyone a fair shout. However now they are going a bit too far in trying to make out that they are the only local people allowed to express an opinion. Which is a bit rich coming from Terry Stewart who lives in Canford Cliffs!
So I have just spent some hours going through the 'neighbour responses' on the PDC website and can now reveal that of letters submitted by people living within the Purbeck District Council catchment area, 71% were in support. So that's another of their myths down in flames!
In a CPRE press release ahead of the Planning Boards' meeting on the 30th Nov. Geoff Edwardes of DART states that the Scout camp is 125m from proposed turbines and this was widely reported and published by the Bmth Echo, yet the nearest point is in fact almost twice that at 240m. Another deliberate attempt to mislead? I'll leave you to work that one out.
Afterwards they claim the meeting was "packed out by out of town pro-wind activists as well as students and lecturers from Southampton University." Now as far as I'm aware that's a complete fabrication and wholly dismissive of the many genuine local people who came along to that meeting to express their support. In fact that it was DART trying to pack the meeting with 'out-of-towners' even making an appeal to North Dorset UKIP members. See newsletter No.55 www.ukipdorsetnorth.org.uk/file_download/95/NDN_201012.pdf
Now it seems that CPRE are threatening P.D.C. with a Judicial Review and huge costs which of course we, the Council tax payers will have to foot! In these times of cuts and hardship isn't there better ways of spending the money?
30th November, 7pm Purbeck school, Wareham.
The aim to get as many supporters as possible to turn up and give the councilors the confidence to make the correct moral decision and to show that the quiet majority refuse to be drowned out by the vociferous few was successful.
At the end of a 4 hour meeting, it all came down to the Councillors votes, Read more here...
Short film on 100% renewable energy. Yes we can shut fossil fuel power stations.
George Monbiot talks to the head of C.P.R.E.
As this is the website for supporters - here are a few cracking good ones....
From a resident on the Puddletown road...
Planning application no. 6/2010/0082, Windfarm at Masters Pit
We are writing to strongly support this application, We own and occupy a property approximately one mile to the east of the application site, and the proposed wind turbines will be clearly visible to us. We attended Infinergy's consultative seminar on the original application in November 2008 and have read the revised Non-Technical Summary (NTS). We would like to comment on a few aspects of the application.
Many objectors claim that the turbines would be a "blot on the landscape" citing proximity to the Dorset AONB. A much greater intrusion is the scars caused by the many sand and gravel quarries in the area, which are obvious from the Purbeck ridge and elsewhere. As the NTS says, "the gravel workings are an identifiable feature in the
landscape". Since the windfarm site is actually in one of these quarries, it cannot be said that it will add to the visual degradation already in existence.
Wind turbines generate little noise, and what noise there is can be heard as a soft background. By contrast, residents along the Puddletown Road and the A352 are already subject to frequent, excessive and disturbing noise pollution from the Army firing ranges.
There is no comparison between the wind turbine noise and these intrusive and unexpected episodes, which are like living in a war zone,
The Puddletown Road already has a sub-standard road surface, due to frequent large HGV traffic from the quarries and tracked vehicles from the Army, The windfarm will not worsen this situation, and could improve it, if as a planning condition the applicant can be tasked to contribute to the maintenance and repair of the road.
Large military helicopters have been observed to use the Puddletown Road as a low flying navigational aid en route to and from the Bovington camp. The windfarm will be a significant obstruction on this route and the low flying procedures will have to be constrained to avoid it. This will be beneficial to Puddletown Road residents who are
often disturbed by this activity,
Continuous anemometer monitoring at our property, a mile from the windfarm site, has shown that the windspeed at 6m height has exceeded the 3m/s threshold for operation for 26% of the time over the last 18 months. Given that availability at turbine height will be greater, this compares well with the national average figure of 30% availability. It is reasonable to suppose that the Puddletonw Road ridge is therefore, a good site for wind resource.
Both the application and the landowner's supporting letter make much of the need to meet legally binding targets and to combat climate change. These are worthy objectives but irrelevant in context. Targets are artificial and unenforceable, and climate change is already inevitable, even if Britain were to turn off its entire electricity
generation overnight. On the other hand, security and diversity of electricity supply Is an essential strategy. The electricity supply industry has already repeatedly warned of the likelihood of enforced power cuts within the next decade. Every new windfarm is a means to prevent this outcome.
and finally a visitor from Swindon...
I love this part of the country. I don't live here at the moment, but like to visit the area on holiday,
I do have a wind farm I can see from my window. You can't hear them at all unless you walk right up close, then you hear a swish as the blades go by.
It gives me great joy every time I see them to think how they are peacefully generating electricity without using up resources or causing pollution.
Despite widespread objection before windfarm was built, which unfortunately led to reducing the size and thus amount of electricity generated, after it was built it is very popular, locals are proud of it and visitors love it.
You are lucky to have good windy locations near the coast. I do hope you make the most of it and grant this application.
From a Wareham resident...
Dear Mr Boyt
I am writing to you in support of the proposed Alaska wind farm - application number 6/2010/0082
As a local person^^^^^^^^^^^, I will be among the first to take them to visit the new wind turbines and to explain to them how they are helping to protect our environment by reducing the amount of coal and gas we need to burn to power our electricity dependant lives.
Despite the growing awareness among the general populous of the challenges of population growth, climate change and peak-oil, we (or our institutions, from Government down to Parish Council, and everything in between) seem completely unable to grasp the seriousness of the situation and to actually take any positive
I was dismayed recently at the refusal for permission of the wind turbines in Gillingham. Now is the time to take the lead in Purbeck and Dorset, and show people that we do take the world's problems seriously and are prepared to do our bit to help.
I am fully aware of all of the technical objections to wind farms (noise, flicker, danger to wildlife etc.) but I believe that the Alaska farm proposal has done everything in its power to mitigate these. As i have made several trips to Wales and Scotland, where I have seen several wind farms up close at first hand, I have to say that the noise from modern turbines seems negligible to me.
Which leads me onto what I think is the only reasonable objection to these particular turbines, which is that they can be considered unsightly. Clearly this is a matter of opinion and I personally have no problem with the aesthetics of the proposal, I am far happier to have wind turbines producing clean electricity where I can see them, than Palm Oil plants causing untold damage to Indonesian forests out of sight for example.
I have heard the objection that the wind farm will be visible from the Purbeck hills, but frankly, so what?
Poole is visible from the Purbeck hills, as is Winfrith. Four turbines making a small visual impact in the far distance pale into insignificance alongside existing visual detritus. There is no unbroken view of the
countryside from the Purbeck hills. The sight of four wind turbines will not detract from the visual landscape in any way, but it might cause people to stop and think about energy generation and to connect those thoughts to their own lives.
I look forward to hearing that my local council has acted in the best interests both of local people and the wider population and granted permission to the scheme.
(1) Source: Sustainable Development Commission report, 'Wind Power in the UK'