Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset

Published: May 11, 2006
Burnham wind farm protesters hit back in row over impact on tourism

How the wind farm might look [Photomontage: Knoll To Wind Farm]

A row has broken out between protesters fighting a proposed wind farm at Burnham-On-Sea and the developers over the impact it would have on the local tourism industry.

KNOll to Windfarm, the action group set up to oppose the proposed development of five wind turbines on land on the outskirts of the town, earlier this week raised the issue of the farm being "a risk" to the local tourist industry.

In response, Dale Vince of Ecotricity told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "The Knoll group claim surveys around the world back them up, they cite just two from the UK, the first one is not about actual tourists' views or responses and the second one is so selectively reported on as to be distorted beyond recognition. Knoll should truly be ashamed of themselves."

How the wind farm might look [Photomontage: Ecotricity]But on Thursday (May 11th), KNOll to Windfarm hit back when spokesman Andrew Manning said: "We are intrigued that Mr Vince should use such emotive language - we wonder whether we have got him rattled?"

"We note in the planning application from Mr Vince's organisation that the importance of tourism to the local economy is stressed, which reflects our point."

"That is probably why he is so worried about our argument. Mr Vince's company then also cites just two surveys to support his view that tourism would not be affected. One is the survey that we also referred to, the other carried out at Brean."

"We would point out that, without even having seen the methodology of the survey or the questions asked, no statistician would believe that a survey of just 331 visitors to Brean would claim that this is a representative sample. The survey quoted from Scotland involved even fewer people, and its methodology has been widely discredited."

"However, even if it is possible to put scepticism to one side, the surveys quoted support our position, not Mr. Vince's; it is not the percentage of people who say they might still come to the area that is important, it is the percentage that won't that is key."

"The Brean survey that is quoted in the Ecotricity submission indicates that 3.6% of tourists would visit less often. Such falls in tourist numbers and associated revenue would put the profits of local businesses at serious risk."

ECOTRICITY BOSS HITS BACK...

Ecotricity's Dale Vince hit back at the comments, saying: "This adds nothing to the debate and takes nothing from the mistakes and omissions in Knoll's previous statement. Knoll need to come up with evidence to back their claims, there's no merit in continuing to make assertions and allegations without any supporting evidence."

"Since we're on the subject of opinion polls it might be relevent to ask Knoll how many members they have. And it may be worth reminding Knoll that when they first began, they said they wanted to come and meet us to discuss how wind energy is forecast and other issues - we offered to meet them anytime, but they've not even made contact - you have to wonder how serious Knoll are or whether it was just a posture for the press."

Meanwhile, Ecotricity's planning application is currently with Sedgemoor District Council and is due to be considered by members of its planning committee later in the summer.

RELATED LINKS:

Actor John Cleese supports wind farm protest group
Wind farm would 'hurt local tourism' claim protestors
Council announces start of Burnham wind farm consultation period
Protest group's anger after posters are pulled down
Wind farm boss hits back in row over power generation
Wind farm boss challenged to meet protestors
Protestors challenge Ecotricity power generation figures
Wind farm bid labled 'invalid' by district planners
14 new photos of proposed wind farm are released
Wind farm application reaches district planners
New photomotage images of wind farm released
Shock photos of wind farm accidents "show the risks"
MP David Heathcoat-Amory gives his backing to wind group
MP to visit wind farm protestors at Brent Knoll
New pro-wind farm group backs Edithmead wind farm plans
'Property prices will be hit by proposed wind farm' claims action group
Wind farm group pushes green agenda
Ecotricity holds wind farm open day
New action group formed to fight wind farm
Council leader slams plans for wind farm
Huge new wind farm proposed for Edithmead



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