On of pro­posed wind­farms

Grocott's Mail - - OUTSIDE TURNING OVER LOGS -

ed by tur­bines in close prox­im­ity on all three sides.

The moun­tain view from the homestead across the val­ley would be re­placed by four tur­bines, and three more would be in close prox­im­ity to the side of the house, near the prop­erty bound­ary at a dis­tance of a few hun­dred me­tres.

Neg­a­tive ef­fects … dis­turb­ing catch­ment drainage

The im­pact of the ac­cess road along the wa­ter­shed is also called into ques­tion as Riven­dell Fish Hatch­ery de­pends on the cur­rent undis­turbed and pris­tine na- ture of the catch­ment for its clean wa­ter sup­ply.

Run-off from roads is no­to­ri­ous for its neg­a­tive ef­fects on dis­turb­ing catch­ment drainage.

The catch­ment that com­prises the Riven­dell val­ley gives rise to the Olden­bur­gia Stream, one of the main feeder streams for the How­i­son’s Poort reser­voir that sup­plies Gra­ham­stown, and also sup­plies wa­ter to the Brack­endale val­ley.

The ge­ol­ogy is one of fis­sured quartzite, which ex­tends through to the spring on the Port Al­fred road. Blast­ing for road and foun­da­tion con­struc­tion may have un­fore­seen con­se­quences on these feeder springs.

The road ap­proach area to the project com­prises around 14 home­steads and cot­tages, most of which are oc­cu­pied by peo­ple who choose not to live in town, pre­fer­ring the peace and beauty of a pris­tine nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment.

Most of these peo­ple com­mute daily into town.

The in­ter­rup­tions to this way of life with heavy ma­chin­ery daily block­ing the steep ac­cess road, blast­ing of foun­da­tions, in­creased se­cu­rity risks, gen­eral con­struc­tion noise and dis­tur­bance, and de­creased land val­ues are of con­cern.

There are al­ter­na­tive sites

The project ex­ten­sion would arouse much criticism even if there were no al­ter­na­tive sites. How­ever, there are al­ter­na­tive sites.

The cur­rent Waainek Wind Farm has po­ten­tial for ex­pan­sion with a readi­ness to ac­com­mo­date tur­bines on pri­vate land by sev­eral nearby landown­ers.

The site falls out­side that con­sid­ered to be of high aes­thetic or con­ser­va­tion value, and more im­por­tantly the in­fra­struc­ture in terms of ac­cess roads, ca­bles, site of­fice and con­crete con­struc­tion works are all in place.

On the op­po­site side of Gra­ham­stown, another pro­posed wind-farm project along Botha’s ridge could sim­ply have the ex­tra nine tur­bines added, rather than des­e­crate yet another moun­tain, in our one-and-only wild area.

Those in­di­vid­u­als and or­gan­i­sa­tions in Gra­ham­stown who are con­cerned about the de­fil­ing of yet another of our nat­u­ral trea­sures are urged to op­pose this project with all means pos­si­ble. More info: www.ces­net. co.za/waai­hoek.html

• The au­thor is the owner of Riven­dell Farm Find us On­line: www.gro­cotts.co.za/environews

Con­tacts for Makana En­viro-News: Nikki Köhly: n.kohly@ru.ac.za, 046 603 7205 | Tim Bull: tim­o­th­y­bull05@aol.com, 076 289 5122 | Jenny Gon: j-gon@in­tekom.co.za, 046 622 5822 | Nick James: nick­james@in­tekom.co.za, 082 575 9781 | Philip Ma­chan­ick: p.ma­chan­ick@ru.ac.za, 046 603 8635.

Riven­dell farm that would be sur­rounded by tur­bines on three sides.

Riven­dell with wind­farm (photo graph­i­cally ma­nip­u­lated).

Feather­stone Kloof that will be dom­i­nated by nine tur­bines.

Map of wind­farm ex­ten­sion.

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