Community logs on to oppose plans for windfarm

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VILLAGERS have rejected plans for a windfarm on the edge of their community in an online survey.

Widdrington Village Residents’ Association set up the questionnaire on its website to gather opinions on plans by Novera Energy to erect four turbines at the Sisters site.

The company, which is part of the Infinis group, hopes to install the 126m high turbines on farm land west of the village.

Feedback forms from the applicant’s own public exhibitions earlier this year showed that 55 percent of people questioned were against the proposal.

And now the online survey has recorded 62 percent of respondents opposed to the scheme.

Fifteen local residents took part in the poll, about ten percent of the parish population, and of those nine were against the windfarm (60 percent), while six were not opposed (40 percent).

Of 11 non-residents who responded, seven were opposed (64 percent) and four were not (36 percent).

Overall, 62 percent of participants were against the development and 38 percent were not opposed.

Residents’ Association Chairman Dale Page said: “Fifteen responses from residents might seem a small number, but if you take the parish population of about 140 and think about how many of those have access to the internet, it is a good response.

“The result is pretty much what I expected, but I know other people who have told me they are against the windfarm but haven’t bothered to do the survey so I believe the figures against it are actually higher.

“The result certainly shows that people in this area don’t want the wind farm and we will present these figures to the county council at the appropriate time.

“It shows that we as a residents’ association are representing the views of our residents and not just the views of our committee.”

Infinis Project Manager Susannah Side said: “In January our returns showed that 45 percent of local residents attending our public exhibitions were in favour of the Sisters Wind Farm.

“The Widdrington Residents’ Association online poll was launched in January and I am interested to note that of the 26 respondents 38 percent were also in favour of our project.”

The residents’ group is now preparing to conduct on online poll to weigh up support for the proposed Blue Sky Forest regeneration project for the area.