A REPORT on consultation into the Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm Project was criticised by Castletown commissioners.
The ‘mini consultation report’ follows the second round of community consultation events held in England and the island in September and October last year and carried out for Dong Energy, the company behind the proposed wind farm.
They found 55 per cent supported offshore wind power in the Irish Sea (24 per cent did not), 93 per cent said the event had helped them to understand the proposed plans for a wind farm, 30 per cent felt their views ‘will be taken into account as the proposed wind farm project develops’ (19 per cent disagreed), 43 per cent support the project, 28 per cent did not know if they did, 29 per cent disagreed with the project.
Safeguarding ferry routes to the island and the potential environmental impact were the most important issues to consider. Commissioner Andrew Thomas said: ‘The questions were designed to get the answers they wanted.’
He said you may support renewable energy – as he does – but you must consider the effect on ferry routes and the cost of getting to the island. ‘It’s very bland . . . meaningless,’ he added. ‘They do it so they can say they have consulted.’
Mr Thomas quoted one figure that said 62 per cent want fewer, taller turbines, adding: ‘I do not believe that.’
Commissioner Alwyn Collister said: ‘I do not believe the report. You can manipulate the figures.’