Author Archive

Middlewick granted permission!

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

Planning Inspector Elizabeth Fieldhouse published her decision to allow the appeal and grant planning permission for the Middlewick wind farm on 19th May. In her 31-page report, the inspector concludes that the benefits of the wind farm outweigh the disadvantages, but specifies some 42 conditions of approval to ensure that the development has minimal impact.

This thoroughly vindicates the stance taken by We Want a Wind Farm, Wonder of Wind, the three Friends of the Earth local groups and local residents who supported the project. We now look forward to the construction of the wind farm to enable the production of clean electricity, which will reduce CO2 emissions by some 20600 tonnes per year.

Planning application submitted for Dengie wind farm

Monday, March 28th, 2011

A PLANNING application has been submitted for a seven-turbine wind farm.

Energy company RES has submitted its plans for the wind farm, on Turncole Farm, between Burnham and Southminster.

Each turbine is planned to be up to 126metres high and it is proposed to generate enough power to provide electricity for 7,600 homes.

The company has pledged to allocate about £25,000 per year to compensate the community around Southminster, Asheldham and Burnham.

Wind power generates almost 10% of the UK’s power

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Earlier this week the amount of UK energy generated from wind power came close to 10% of the total output.

According to data from the National Grid, production of electricity from wind reached the marker on Monday (September 6)


Yes, wind power really is green

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

At the wind farm debate hosted by Saint FM in June, a member of SIEGE was distributing leaflets entitled “Is wind power really green?” and produced by the “concerned citizens” of Grey Highlands, Ontario, Canada. We wanted to examine the claims made in this leaflet to see if there was anything to them.

SIEGE admits to lying to the public live on air

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

At the Wind Farm Debate broadcast live on Saint FM last night, SIEGE campaigners admitted lying to the public in their campaign to prevent a wind farm being developed at Middlewick on the Dengie peninsula.

SIEGE's inaccurate photo depicting wind turbines towering over Southminster

Scaremongering photo from the SIEGE website showing wind turbines towering over Southminster High Street. It is captioned on their site as being an "Accurate scale Illustration of the view of the Turbines from Southminster High St."

A member of the audience – Denis Walker, co-ordinator of South East Essex Friends of the Earth – asked the following question of SIEGE:

“If your case is as strong as you make out, why do you lie about the way you present your information? On the front page of your website, you have a photo which has been photoshopped to put wind turbines in it and they are towering Godzilla-like over Southminster High Street. Ridgewind’s version of that photo shows that none of them will in fact be visible at all.”

Pip Thorogood replied that at the time they distributed a leaflet with the image on it, they believed it to be correct. He went on to say that the organisation now knows it not to be correct. However, at the time of publication, the image is still present on the front page of the SIEGE website with the caption “Accurate scale Illustration of the view of the Turbines from Southminster High St.”

A recording of this exchange is now available.

Wind farm debate

Monday, June 14th, 2010

A debate on the proposed Middlewick Wind Farm took place at St Peter’s High School, Burnham-on-Crouch on Monday 14th June. It was broadcast live by local radio station Saint FM, which will be playing repeats until 28th June.

The station has made the broadcast available via their website, but this is no longer available. However, a copy of the recording is now available here.

The debate was chaired by John Cassels.

The developers, Ridgewind, were represented by:

  • John Fairlie, Director of Engena
  • Peter Newland, Independent Consultant in Planning Policies
  • Nigel Goodhew, Ridgewind Director and Project Manager of Middlewick

and on the panel for the anti-windfarm campaign group SIEGE were:

  • Jane Davis
  • Robin Prior
  • Pip Thorogood
  • Neil Yates

Two schools in Southend want their own “wind farm”

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Westborough Primary School in Westcliff on Sea brought forward a plan in 2008 to construct a wind turbine in the school to inspire children. Sadly a vocal minority of residents objected to the scheme and a grossly irresponsible council (on a majority vote) rejected the application. But the school has not given up the fight to encourage children to gain an insight into how an environmentally sound future might look, and the issue has been referred on appeal to the planning inpector.  A decision is expected imminently.

Undeterred by the ignorance of some, a proposal for a wind turbine in the new Hinguar Primary School in Shoeburyness has been made. The school has submitted an application for a 15 metre turbine, with an eye on the new feed in tariff scheme, and the potential to sell electricity back tho the grid when the school is unoccupied.

This application is at a very early stage and needs the support of residents if it is to overcome the hostility of councillors, many of whom have failed to grasp the perilous state of the nation’s energy supplies.

SOUTHMINSTER: Losing windfarm will cost area millions, say businessmen

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

THE COUNTY’S business people have stepped into the controversy surrounding the Middlewick wind farm – and given the project their backing.

The Essex Chambers of Commerce is urging Maldon District Council to give the proposed wind farm the go-ahead and claims that millions of pounds could be lost to the economy if it is not given the green light..

Developer RidgeWind has submitted a planning application for nine turbines to be installed at a site approximately 3km east of Southminster for 25 years only.

Essex Chambers of Commerce Managing Director Denise Rossiter said: “After closely examining the application, we have given it our full backing due to the vast economic, community and environmental benefits we believe the project will bring to the area.”

It has been estimated that £5 million will come into the local economy during the nine months it will take to build the wind farm. The construction and hospitality industries particularly stand to benefit.

“The developers are keen to use as many local suppliers as possible – therefore the gravel, concrete and so on, will all come from Essex firms. The contractors will need places to stay, eat and be entertained whilst the construction takes place.”

There will also be direct investment into the local community from RidgeWind.

“Local people will really feel the benefit of the wind farm as RidgeWind contributes funds from its own coffers into Community Benefit Schemes.

“Based on their proposal for nine turbines, then the Middlewick fund is going to be around £54,000 per year for the 25 years of the wind farm.”

She added, “The Essex Chambers of Commerce will do all they can to help the Middlewick windfarm get the green light.”

We’re joining forces with Middlewick Wonder of Wind

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

We Want a Wind Farm teams up with the new Middlewick Wonder of Wind campaign. Watch this space!

‘We love living with a wind farm’

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Middlewick project is nothing to be scared of urge residents of Lincolnshire village

People living next door to a working wind farm say that Southminster residents have nothing to fear from the proposed Middlewick wind farm.

Developer RidgeWind is hoping to construct a nine turbine wind farm 3km from Southminster. The company already operates a wind farm that is very similar in size, layout and topographic location – Bagmoor in North Lincolnshire. Bagmoor has been generating power since August 2009 – it has eight turbines and is just 1km from the village of Dragonby.

25-year old Helen Walker lives in the High Street, and her experience disproves claims that wind farms affect the quality of life for people living in close proximity to them. She says “They haven’t bothered me at all. They make no noise and I think the view of them is quite nice. We knew the wind farm was being built when we moved here six months ago, but it didn’t put us off.”

Elizabeth Lawton-Smith runs a riding school and livery stables just half a mile from Bagmoor wind farm. She comments “During the time the turbines were constructed I did not notice any change in behavior in the horses and ponies, they don’t appear to notice them! When we hack down Bagmoor Lane we are probably less than 500 metres away and the noise of the turbines has not caused any problems to date. If anyone concerned by the prospect of having a wind farm nearby wishes to contact me, or indeed come and visit my premises to see for themselves, they are very welcome.”

The Bagmoor wind farm also puts financial investment into Dragonby via its Community Benefit Scheme (CBS). A portion of the revenue generated by the windfarm is given to the village to support various projects. This equates to approximately £24,000 per year, and is part of a 25 year commitment – the lifetime of the project.

On top of the CBS, another group to benefit is the Normanby Park Sports Club, whose Trustee and Club Coach Paul Cowling said “When the Normanby Park sports pavilion was destroyed by arsonists in September 2007 it looked like a century of sporting tradition had come to an end. It was only through the support of companies like Ridgewind that allowed the club to re-group and build for the future. Ridgewind’s extremely kind donation of £10,000 allowed us to rebuild the pavilion, which now provides sports facilities for over 200 local youngsters. The new building is set within the Normanby country estate, with the Bagmoor wind farm providing an appropriate backdrop – reminding us of who made all this possible.”

If the Middlewick project is given the green light by Maldon District Council, then a similar Community Benefit Scheme is planned for Southminster. It would be administered by a committee formed of local Parish Council members and will be worth up to £54,000 per year (depending on turbine selection) during the lifetime of the windfarm. This could equate to over £1.3m of investment in the Dengie Peninsula over a quarter of a century.

Dragonby locals have also been offered an electricity subsidy of £250 a year for a minimum of two years, in addition to RidgeWind offering two £1000 scholarships to local students with plans to attend a higher education institute.

RidgeWind also organises regular tours of Bagmoor for school groups. James Dixon teaches Geography at nearby St Bede’s Catholic School -“There is no doubt that to have witnessed the construction, and now operation, of the wind farm has been a positive experience. I have now visited the wind farm twice, both of which with GCSE groups. Gaining the experience of visiting and seeing a wind farm is much better than just seeing it in the classroom. Some quotes from students – “That was great!” “I couldn’t believe how quiet the turbines are” and “It’s amazing how they can still farm around the turbines.” I look forward to keeping the partnership with RidgeWind up and visiting the wind farm regularly in the years to come.”


  • Middlewick will create enough electricity to power 9620 homes – that’s 38% of all the homes in the Maldon district
  • The planning application was submitted to Maldon District Council in January 2010, a decision is expected by early summer 2010.
  • More information at

Note that we have been provided the text of this press release for use on our website by RidgeWind, but that We Want a Wind Farm is in no way connected to RidgeWind. We support the development of the Middlewick Wind Farm because we need to decarbonise the production of energy.