The Isle of Wight Economic Partnership have publicly announced today their support for the Cheverton Down Wind Turbine planning application.
The application attracted over 1800 comments from the public whilst it application was open to comments.
The IWEP believe that the investment in turbines on the Wight will deliver strong economic benefits to the Island, as well as bringing us closer to one of the ‘Eco Island’ goals of having the lowest carbon footprint in England by 2020.
In their statement, the IWEP showed strong support for Vestas, who employ over 600 Island people across their East Cowes and Newport sites, specialising in the construction of wind turbine blades.
It’s claimed that in the year ended 2007, Vestas injected an estimated £30 million into the Island’s economy in terms of money spent in staff wages and on local suppliers.
They go onto to say that this Wind Turbine development could see the Island benefit to the tune of £2.5 million from the total expected spend of between £9 and £10 million. The opportunity for Island businesses to obtain direct contracts could see this figure increase further.
Graham Biss, Chief Executive of the Isle of Wight Economic Partnership said:
“For Vestas to use the latest wind technology on the Island creates a unique opportunity to combine research, manufacturing and deployment of wind turbines in a single location.
This will firmly establish the Island’s position at the centre of the wind energy sector in the UK. At a time when everyone is looking to support employment and investment, we should not under estimate the importance of this opportunity to sustain a long-term source of skilled Island jobs in a rapidly expanding sector.
We are concerned that if the proposals were to be refused, Vestas may at some point reconsider their future plans concerning remaining on the island given the negative message a refusal would relay. It would seem incomprehensible to not be able to house the very products made by the company”.