Public consultation

RWE’s public exhibition backfires

Thank you to everyone who attended the exhibitions in Stubton on 28/29 Sept. A senior RWE manager told us that reVOLT had mounted the best opposition they had ever seen. Grantham Journal report here.

Did you receive RWE’s newsletter before the exhibition? reVOLT’s newsletter may help you to dispel some of the myths – Read the facts here.

Inadequate public consultation

reVOLT has written to RWE and SKDC to put on record the general consensus that the public consultation exercise (an obligatory part of RWE’s future planning application) was inadequately carried out. Here is a copy of the letter:

9 October 2012

Dear Ms Lee,

Further to the public exhibition in Stubton on 28/29th September, I am sure that you are now aware of the degree of local opposition to the proposed industrial wind farm at Temple Hill.  We are writing to communicate the results of our opinion polls, and to outline the concerns expressed to us by the local community about your public consultation exercise.

The exit poll we undertook at the exhibition indicated 95% of attendees opposed the proposed wind farm, with 4% undecided and just 1% in support. These figures reflected our door-to-door opinion poll conducted with all households within 4km of the Temple Hill site, where 92% of respondents opposed the wind farm. In the closest villages of Brandon and Stubton the opposition levels were higher still, at 98% and 97% respectively.

These figures indicate that reVOLT has a clear mandate to speak on behalf of the local population. And we believe that such overwhelming local opposition should give RWE cause to stop and consider whether continuing with your plans would be well advised.

Please could you advise when you will be publishing your own exhibition exit poll results? It would be helpful if, when doing so, you could separate the results based on whether the respondents were local residents, or whether they were others from outside the immediate area invited by RWE via email on 25th September to “discuss potential business opportunities”.

It was interesting to note that many local residents arrived undecided but left your exhibition strongly opposed. Many others were already opposed, but came away from your exhibition absolutely incensed. We heard the same concerns time and time again from local residents. People were dismayed that:

  • your 3D computer generated and wire frame montages were very misleading and seemed designed to minimise the visual impact of the wind farm. Whilst the scale of the proposed turbines seemed significantly understated, intervening vegetation was considerably enhanced and in some cases hedges and trees that do not exist were added. In your newsletter to residents sent a few weeks before the exhibition, you said that this 3D model would give “an accurate impression of what the wind farm could look like”, when clearly this was not the case and even the gentleman running the computer model acknowledged it was flawed.
  • RWE staff seemed unwilling to offer full and frank answers when posed with sensible questions on issues such as noise, health, jobs and house prices. Outdated reports and references were quoted, and the existence of some reports was denied outright. And this despite, to quote your newsletter again, “having specialist staff on hand to answer your questions”.
  • the “community fund” was pushed so heavily. Many attendees were offended by the suggestion that this paltry bribe would in any way sway local opinion in your favour.

On behalf of the local community, reVOLT would like to put on record the general consensus that your pre-application consultation was inadequately carried out.

Finally, we should also appreciate some clarification on a remark made by a member of the RWE team to a Stubton Parish Councillor who was told that the five turbines being proposed at Temple Hill were ‘just to start with’.

We look forward to receiving a timely and thorough response to the points raised above.

Yours sincerely,
Vikki Hoole
Secretary – reVOLT