Local MP blamed for Vestas closure

By Liz Stephens

It was revealed today that Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner has a history of campaigning against wind farms on the island, despite now speaking out against the closure of the Vestas plant.

In fact, opposition by the local Conservative MP to granting planning permission for a new wind turbine project by the Danish company on the island, was cited by the company as one of the main reasons for the closure of the factory.

Yesterday one wind farm developer said: “The argument put by Vestas at the time was if the island can’t accept six turbines it hardly sends out the right message to the rest of the company that the UK is a good place to do business.”

It is understood Mr Turner wrote to the council in summer 2006 objecting to the proposal.

Vestas warned the council that autumn that if the application was refused, it could result in the closure of the factory at Newport in the next few years.

The Conservative-run council rejected the plan.

The MP also wrote to a constituent pledging his opposition to the proposed wind farm because it would be in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Despite his record of opposing wind farms in his constituency, the MP recently told the House of Commons that the closure of the factory represented “a serious loss to the future of our low-carbon economy”.

Mr Turner’s office has been unavailable for comment.

The Vestas plant in Newport is currently under occupation by former workers following its closure in April with the loss of over 600 jobs.