Mixed reaction to new Polegate windfarm plan

WIND farm proposals for Polegate were up for consultation last week and there were mixed reactions to the plans.

Galliford Try Renewables (GTR) has been exploring the possibility of five turbines off Shepham Lane, near Polegate, since 2009 and last Thursday and Friday (May 26 and 27) there were public consultations at The Royal British Legion in Polegate and at the Red Lion Pub in Stone Cross.

The public were invited to the exhibition which included information about the location, noise, output and visual impact of the five proposed wind turbines.

There were also photographic artist’s impressions of various locations around the county.

They showed the turbines would be visible on the landscape from Hailsham, Eastbourne, Bexhill and Mount Caburn near Lewes.

Roger Hardman, a resident at the consultation in Polegate, said, “People won’t realise how incredibly big they are.

“I think people will have a huge shock when these things go up because the visual impact is going to be astounding.”

But Wendy Rogers, who lives very close to the proposed site, said, “I am all for it and think they are quite beautiful things.

“It is very easy to say we don’t want that in our area but we all use electricity.

“If it’s between a nuclear power station or a wind farm, I know what I would rather.”

GTR say the small wind farm could generate enough clean electricity for up to 6,900 homes and save approximately 14,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

However, some people at the public consultation in Polegate had reservations about the output and said they would prefer to see tidal or wave power being used because it was more reliable.

Resident Christine Bassett said, “You can’t guarantee the wind is going to blow and from what I have read they have to be shut down when the wind is too strong.

“I have come to the consultation to find out more but I am not convinced.”

This is the second public consultation to be held and a spokesperson from GTR said the feedback was generally positive at the last exhibition with 50 per cent of people supporting the project and a quarter being undecided.

GTR is currently finalising its Environmental Impact Assessment and intends to submit a planning application to Wealden District Council this summer.

If the application is successful construction will start in 2013.

To sign up for the online consultation and receive email updates visit the website www.shephamwindfarm.co.uk.