A backbench MHK says he’s astonished a company behind a proposed wind farm and wind turbine manufacturing plant has pulled out - and demanded compensation.
As reported in yesterday’s Manx Independent and online here, Prowind UK managing director Keith Brooks wrote to Tynwald members saying he had no option but to seek an alternative site in the UK after ‘vastly incorrect representation’ of his company was made in the House of Keys on Tuesday.
His anger was directed at Michael MHK Alfred Cannan who questioned how the company could present its plans as a fait accompli and interview for jobs when there was no formal agreement with government and no planning consent – and Prowind had been told it cannot install five 150m high turbines at Jurby airfield as the site is reserved for emergency aviation use.
Mr Cannan had also questioned the company’s ability to establish a manufacturing plant when its last set of accounts showed a loss of £96,000.
In his email to MHKs, Mr Brooks said Prowind had revised its plans to use solar panels instead and had ‘personally promised’ the Minister that if the solar farm and industrial unit were not welcomed then ‘we would go elsewhere’.
He added: ‘Following vastly incorrect representation of our company on Tuesday by an MHK it is obvious this is now exactly the case. As a man of my word I have no option to seek an alternative location in the UK.’
Mr Cannan emailed Mr Brooks back, telling him: ‘You seemed surprised this matter has become a matter of such public interest, but you must know there would be a significant public reaction.’
Mr Brooks said the company had carried on with the job interviews on behalf of American turbine manufacturer Xzeres in the hope the government would review its stance. Some 200 people were interviewed at a three-day jobs fair at the Jobs Centre.
But Mr Cannan hit back: ‘You were interviewing for jobs that did not exist. I hope you were not encouraged to do so by DED – it is highly unprofessional.’
Mr Brooks also demanded compensation as a ‘gesture toward repairing damage caused to our reputation’. He said a refund of £120,000 investment costs plus planning fees set at £1 may restore confidence. But Mr Cannan said it should be Prowind paying compensation.