By DARRELL COLE The Canadian Press | 5:41 PM
GULF SHORE — Nova Scotia’s songbird wishes a proposed wind farm in Gulf Shore would just fly away.
Singer Anne Murray, who has a summer home in the area, is joining other residents in opposing the construction by Atlantic Wind Power Corp. of 20 to 27 100-metre-high wind turbines in the province’s northwest corner.
“I just think it’s too close. It’s in all our backyards,” said Murray, who grew up in nearby Springhill. “I think wind power is a good thing, and I am all for them when they’re in the right place. I don’t believe these ones are in the right place.”
The project is presently undergoing an environmental assessment. Depending on how that goes, construction could begin in 2009.
Area residents have been fighting the project since it was first proposed and urged Cumberland County to set the distance between the turbines and their properties at a minimum of two kilometres. Instead, the municipality passed a bylaw setting the distance at the greater of three times the height of the turbine, or 500 metres.
Company president Charles Demond has said a two-kilometre setback would kill the project.
Murray feels the concerns being raised by the Gulf Shore Association and area residents aren’t being taken seriously. She believes there are too many unanswered questions surrounding the placement of turbines close to homes, including the effects of noise, vibration and shadow flicker.
“Some people think this is just a bunch of hysterical people opposed to change, but nothing could be farther from the truth,” she said. “These people are in favour of wind power, but the bylaw passed by the county doesn’t set the distance far enough between their homes and these turbines.
“I’m all for progress and I’m all for change, but not this close.”
Murray said she’s also not opposed to using her celebrity to help project opponents because she feels this wind farm will have a “catastrophic” impact on Pugwash and the Gulf Shore area.
The Amherst News