Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man wind farm concerns gather UK support

Steve Rodan and David Morris MP
Image caption David Morris MP (right) and Steve Rodan want to protect Irish Sea shipping lanes

Isle of Man concerns about wind farm developments in the Irish Sea have received political backing in the UK.

The island's Speaker of the House of Keys, Steve Rodan appealed to UK politicians to support a motion from Morecambe MP, David Morris.

The motion called for the UK government to protect Irish Sea shipping lanes.

So far Mr Morris's motion has received a total of 13 signatures of support- six from the Conservative party and seven from Labour.

In his letter Steve Rodan said: "The Isle of Man Government, along with our ferry company, Chamber of Commerce and members of the Manx public, are very worried that the cumulative effect of wind farms, together with the Morecambe Bay gas field platforms, will seriously interfere with our vital lifeline shipping lanes."

'Aware of concerns'

"Increased journey times, greater operating costs along with a greater likelihood of cancelled and delayed sailings, particularly in bad weather, are still probable."

One of the companies behind some of the developments is Celtic Array, formed by Centrica - which owns British Gas - and Danish firm Dong Energy.

The firm is involved in the Rhiannon development, near Anglesey and has been holding a series of meetings on the Isle of Man to give residents the chance to scrutinise the proposals.

In December a company spokesman said the firm was aware of, and will continue to listen to, Manx concerns and is committed to finding a solution which is right for the company and right for the Isle of Man.

MP David Morris said: "It is an unusual step to write to all MP's to request they support a Parliamentary motion.

"I am pleased Stephen has and it shows the strength of feeling in opposition to these wind turbines which will effectively create a wall, making it difficult for traffic to navigate into the Port of Heysham."

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