A former government press officer has highlighted the significance of the new windfarm plans on the island.
Alistair Ramsay from Douglas, who worked with five Chief Ministers over an 18 year period as government press officer, described the new windfarm plans as ‘the most significant change to Manx landscape since the last ice age’.
The board of Manx Utilities recently endorsed a recommendation for a proposed renewable energy development at Earystane and Scard in the south of the island to be progressed to the environmental impact assessment and design stage.
Manx Utilities claims that five turbines at Earystane could produce up to 130GWh of electricity per year - enough to meet one third of the island’s annual energy demand.
In a letter sent to all members of Tynwald, Mr Ramsay said: ‘Please vote in favour of the motion from Mr Moorhouse at the October Tynwald calling on the Council of Ministers to reconsider its support for the construction of a wind farm in the Manx hills.
‘The motion asks Tynwald to recognise the value of the island’s uplands and notes that wind farm developments are not permitted in similar areas of natural beauty in UK national parks.
‘The issue of the status, integrity and protection of the landscape is fundamentally important, and it should have been taken into account.
‘There has been no Tynwald debate on the principle of onshore wind farms, no specific vote in favour and no public consultation on the subject.
‘I have been closely involved with Manx politics for more than 40 years, and I have never seen such a shocking failure of the democratic process.
‘I was rather hoping that the biggest change to the Manx landscape since the last ice age would be worth a public consultation and Tynwald debate.
‘But the Council of Ministers has bypassed both the public and Tynwald on this hugely contentious issue. This is looking like an epic blunder by government.’