TCI Renewables, developers of the proposed wind farm at Rumbletonrig, Greenlaw, have successfully forced opponents to withdraw leaflets.
Action in Greenlaw and Hume Against Spread of Wind Turbines (AGHAST) are the second group reported to the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) by TCI Renewables because of the content of their leaflets.
Last year the company successfully challenged the contents of a leaflet produced by a community group in Bridlington, Yorkshire, opposed to proposed turbines: the ASA upheld TCI’s complaint that the images in the ads were inaccurate and claims about the turbine height could not be substantiated.
In the case of the Greenlaw group the ASA said: “Action in Greenlaw and Hume Against Spread of Wind Turbines (AGHAST) have assured us that no further copies of the leaflet will be distributed, and that they will take care not to state that there is a link between wind turbines and health issues, that some properties may become unsellable as a result of nearby wind farms or that there is a general acceptance that wind farms should not be constructed within 2km or 2.5km of any settlement.”
TCI Renewables responded: “We are delighted that Action in Greenlaw and Hume Against the Spread of Turbines (AGHAST) have assured the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that they will withdraw a number of claims in the leaflets they circulated.
“Not only ourselves but a number of members of the local community raised their concerns with us over this leaflet and the claims AGHAST made, which have been found against by the ASA, including a link between wind farms and health issues and that some properties may become unsellable as a result of nearby wind farms.
“Developers have to ensure that they maintain very high standards in what they claim and it is only right and fair that objectors do likewise.”
Wind farm developers have not been averse to producing mis-leading information themselves and in November last year the ASA told Wind Prospect Developments Ltd to withdraw a leaflet relating to a development in Midlothian because it claimed it was a “myth” that wind turbines affected house prices.
Matthew Gibb from Greenlaw said: “Many people who oppose this particular wind farm are asking the question if this is really how the law should be applied, as it is a very disproportionate response to the Government’s legitimate objective of consumer protection.
“Whilst members of AGHAST hesitate to describe themselves as “the nut”, the ASA is most certainly the sledge hammer – and the voice of AGHAST is being suppressed in a debate heavily skewed in financial terms in favour of TCI.”
AGHAST is redrafting the leaflet.