Posts Tagged ‘Johannes Busmann’

We have been in touch with a group in Lichfield, England about a project Prowind is proposing there, which has met with steady opposition from residents. Including, it seems, opposition in the form of Sister Anne Marie Eden, whose convent is a place of rest for those in need, such as soldiers returning from Afghanistan.

Here is a recent report on citizen reaction, protest meetings, Prowind’s stance about the project in an idyllic English countryside and–bonus!–a photo of Johannes Busmann, head of Prowind. (Mr Busmann is the head of Prowind Canada, too.)

Here is the story from The Village Market Newspaper.

The implacable face of opposition

Posted by TheVM on 10/03/11 • Categorized as The Village Market Micronewspaper

 Huge applause erupted when Sister Anne Marie Eden countered unfeeling corporate ambition with simple humanity. Mease Valley residents have again been outraged by German attempts to blight a corner of rural Staffordshire thousands of people visit each year for its tranquil beauty. And it was the softly spoken nun who inspired their renewed fight back.

An Osnabruk-based company wants to site giant wind turbines near Haunton to get at taxpayers’ cash.

Softly spoken: powerful words from Haunton nun, Sister Anne Marie Eden.

But Sister Anne Marie Eden wants to preserve the Mease Valley’s quiet stillness for the souls who seek respite at her convent.

A packed protest meeting wearily rehearsed again the arguments that beat off Prowind at their first attempt to build in the valley.

But campaign champion County Councillor Matthew Ellis told them the prospects now looked grim.

He also quoted a dark warning from the Germans, who still seemed to be stinging from their earlier costly defeat: “We did not spend this amount of money just to walk away from it.”

The UK government is now subsidising foreign turbine firms to the tune of £500 million at year.

And yet serious doubts about their equipment’s efficiency on inland sites go unanswered.

Wind farms rejected

The county council refuses to allow large wind farms on its land for environmental reasons.

Rural bodies warn of turbines desecrating the countryside

Anti-windfarm protesters claim Prowind MD Johannes Busmann’s only thought is to help himself to generous taxpayer handouts.

Anyone who has met Sister Anne knows her one and only thought is to serve others.

She sees first hand the precious gift of healing and calm those who come to her for help gain from staying at the convent.

And few people could ever understand their mental turmoil as she does.

For 12 years she was an army chaplain, sometimes comforting soldiers heading for the front line – sometimes the bereaved families of those who did not return.

It is work she wants to continue at Haunton. She and her five fellow sisters stand ready if called on to receive soldiers traumatised by the horrors of Afghanistan.

Councillor Matthew Ellis: raised the alarm over Prowind’s new attempt to build near Haunton. Residents are looking to him for leadership.

But she fears that Prowind’s colossal turbine blades, chopping the wind like Chinook helicopter rotars, would forever mar the peace desperately sought by those in need.

Her simple message to Prowind was: “People come to us for quiet tranquility.

“What is going to happen if we do not fight for our countryside?

Angry: people in Harlaston, Haunton and Clifton Campville had hoped never to hear of Prowind again.

“We need beautiful natural things to look at.”

The packed hall at Harlaston erupted into loud applause.

Johannes Busmann and his team pulled out at the very last moment from their previous bid to build in the Mease Valley before their plans could be officially thrown out.

In doing so they left taxpayers to foot an estimated £90,000 bill in wasted administration fees.

Busmann had also broken promises to consult residents about his plans.

He totally ignored letters from the local MP – Christopher Pincher was even unaware that the businessman had advanced plans for another bid to locate turbines near Haunton.

Busmann has also refused to respond to journalists’ inquiries.

But at the Harlaston meeting last month residents heard how increased taxpayer subsidies for smaller scale wind farms made siting one near Haunton a more lucrative proposition than ever.

Vast profits to be had

Tory plans to ease planning laws also look set to bring a windfall for foreign companies such as ProWind.

Organisations including the National Trust are voicing fears for the future of the countryside.

Tory plans to adopt, “a presumption in favour of sustainable development” could see the number of wind turbines in the UK more than trebling from 2,000 to 6,500.

And Britain is not alone. In September ‘VM’ received a message of support from Canada for the Mease Valley campaigners.

Jane Wilson, Chair of the North Gower Wind Action Group, Ottawa, said: “We stand with you in your fight to preserve your community from industrialisation for taxpayer subsidised, inefficient and unreliable wind power generation.” She added that Busmann aimed to build up to ten, 190-metre-tall turbines near her neighbours’ homes.

He is now also determined to install two, 100-metre-tall, 500mw turbines in the heart of the unspoiled Mease Valley.

Laid back: Herr Busmann.

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca and follow us on Twitter at northgowerwind.

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This just in from Lichfield

Plans for wind farm near Lichfield are withdrawn

Plans for a wind farm near Lichfield have been withdrawn.

It had been feared that Germany company ProWind would launch an appeal against any decision to reject the scheme after officials had indicated that the development should be refused planning permission.

However, the application for the site at Haunton was pulled at the last minute before councillors made their official decision on the application.

Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher

But the area’s MP, Christopher Pincher, is still hoping to meet the company to gauge their thoughts on the development going forward.

He explained:

“Generally, I support renewable energy, however, this wind farm proposal was not in the right location. Hoggs Hill is seldom windy and when it is windy, the velocity is not of sufficient speed to make the site economically viable. These turbines would have spoiled the landscape, especially the beautiful St Andrew’s Parish Church, without contributing any benefit to the community. Common sense has prevailed.”

“I actively met with residents to listen to their concerns and I wrote a comprehensive consultation document for Lichfield District Council. Furthermore, I also wrote several letters to the Chairman of ProWind in Germany to make sure rumours that threatened appeals would be lodged – which would have cost the tax payers thousands – were unfounded.

“I still mean to meet with the Chairman of ProWind, Herr Busmann, to make sure he is not planning to change his mind.”

Staffordshire County Councillor for Lichfield Rural East was also delighted that people power had won through.

He said:

“Clearly, the community’s strong message has been heard and the company’s tactic is to withdraw the application rather than risk any confirmation of refusal by the council’s planning committee.”


“Common sense has prevailed.”

Lest you get your hopes up that community reaction here could have the same effect, remember that the Green Energy and Green Economy Act in Ontario has removed the ability of communities event to have any impact on planning an industrial wind turbine project. The Act goes on and on about “community involvement” but the fact is, the wind development companies’ public consultation events are mere lip service to the legislation, and are simply exhibitions, not dialogue with the community. They maintain a list of people who have communicated with them–again, to the letter of the law–but they do not actively engage in community comment. This is why more than 70 municipalities throughout Ontario are doing whatever they can to regain some form of control. Most recently, Arran-Elderslie is upping the fee for building permits from $15 per $1000 of project value, to $50. Haldimand’s mayor announced a few days ago that he plans to introduce a motion for a moratorium. Saugeen Shores held a meeting last night; Deputy Mayor Luc Charbonneau presented a motion to STOP the proposed developments at Arran Lake and North Bruce.

What can YOU do? Join us if you haven’t already. Let MPP Lisa MacLeod and Ward 21 Councillor Scott Moffatt know your views.


You can also follow us on Twitter at northgowerwind

You may be interested in comparing the now-withdrawn Prowind project for Lichfield. It is certainly interesting to note that it was nowhere as close to as many homes as Prowind’s Marlborough project is in North Gower. Here is the link: http://www.hogshillwindfarm.co.uk/

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