This independent non-profit website operates as a community service for local residents seeking and sharing information about the construction, commissioning and future operation of the Watford Lodge Wind Farm, located just outside the village of Watford, Northamptonshire.
This website has no connection with the current wind farm operators Broadview Energy, the originators of the planning application Volkswind UK , the landowners, or the consortium of investors that own the wind farm business, Eolian 2 Limited.
To begin with, Volkswind UK publicly expressed an apparent desire to engage positively with local people and keep them informed. They launched and previously operated a ‘Community Consultation Website’ from the web address www.watfordlodgewindfarm.co.uk
That website stated:
“We feel we have a commitment to keep the local community informed of our proposed wind farm near Watford in Northants. We have thus created this website in order to involve you in the development process and to let you have your say.”
An archived version of that abandoned Volkswind website can be viewed by clicking here. This launched in 2009 and disappeared abruptly late in 2014 when control of the site passed over to Broadview Energy.
The ‘Communities’ page of the Broadview Energy website states that the company has a policy of establishing a ‘dedicated’ website to provide information about each of their developments. Specifically, they say :
Broadview prides itself on undertaking a thorough, open and transparent approach to community engagement as it is important to work closely with all interested parties likely to be affected by the development of a wind farm. On all of our sites we aim to build strong relationships with local communities from an early stage in the development process, and then maintain these throughout the lifetime of the project.
To date, Broadview Energy has not matched this positive PR spin on community engagement with deeds.
Prior to 10th June 2015 Broadview would not publicly confirm that they were actively developing the site at Watford Lodge. The site acquisition was not mentioned on their website, nor the relationship with their client Eolian 2 Limited. The sustained and bizarre attempt to evade public scrutiny continued long after large scale construction commenced in December 2014.
On 10th June 2015 Broadview Energy finally buckled under mounting pressure and publicly admitted for the first time that they had been orchestrating the construction of the Watford Lodge Wind Farm from the day that work first began in December 2014. To download and review the brief press release confirming the acquisition of the Watford Lodge Wind Farm (.pdf, 115kb) please click here.
That reluctant, tersely worded, public admission from Broadview came after seven months of frantic construction activity surrounding the wind farm site and many hundreds of HGV vehicle movements though the village over deteriorating roads, clogged by continuous roadworks initiated at their request. During this period no consultation or dialogue with local people took place.
The video above was shot two days before Broadview issued their press release retrospectively announcing the commencement of construction.
The 4.6 metre diameter tower base rings for five MM92 125 metre turbines are already on site. Several base rings are installed and the other foundations are approaching completion. The remaining turbine components will pass through the village centre as a series of around 40 huge abnormal loads very soon.
This independent forum has therefore become essential to allow local people to share scarce news and exchange views.
Please share this site’s web address with your local social media contacts to spread the word!
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