Wind farm opponents consider appeal

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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PUGWASH - Opponents of a proposed wind farm along the Gulf Shore are strongly considering appealing their case to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board.

PUGWASH - Opponents of a proposed wind farm along the Gulf Shore are strongly considering appealing their case to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board.

"It's something we're giving strong consideration to," Lisa Betts of the Gulf Shore Association said Tuesday. "It's one of the options we're looking at."

Betts said the developer, Atlantic Wind Power Corporation, seems determined to build a wind farm with between 20 to 27 turbines and her group does not feel Cumberland County's land-use bylaw offers enough protection for nearby residents.

Council voted earlier this month to set the minimum distance between wind turbines and residents at the greater of 500 metres or three times the tower height. Atlantic Wind Power's proposal calls for a separation of 500 metres. Residents along the Gulf Shore wanted a two km setback.

"To ensure that the set back from these large industrial turbines is a greater distance than that covered in the new bylaw, we must try to appeal the decision made by county council," Betts said. "The turbines are designed to be 120 metres high, or twice the height of the MacDonald Bridge roadway. This will overpower any building within the current set back distance."

If the utility and review board sides with the residents, the county would have to repeal its amendment and start the process all over again.

"This will provide time for us to solicit support from all residents within the county and will hopefully be sufficient to convince county council to increase the setback distance," she said.

If the appeal is denied, Betts feels the only other recourse would be legal action. The group is presently looking for a solicitor to handle both the appeal to the utility and review board and any potential legal action.

Betts realizes this could cost up to $20,000, but pointed out several residents have already come forward with $1,000 donations.

dcole@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board, Gulf Shore Association, Atlantic Wind Power

Geographic location: Cumberland County

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