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Is Nowhere Safe From Windfarms?

Author: Brian Skittrall Published: 16th March 2012 16:38

Is nowhere safe from wind farms?Is nowhere safe from wind farms?
 
The recent decision by the Planning Inspectorate to give the go-ahead for a windfarm near Lyveden New Bield in Northamptonshire should raise alarm bells in every county.  It suggests that no part of the countryside is safe from these industrial scale developments, described by the inspector as alien and incongruous in the landscape.
 
Northants is at risk of becoming the windfarm capital of England with 21 windfarms installed, approved or announced.  Yet it is one of the least windy parts of the country.
 
CPRE Northamptonshire shares the horror of the National Trust and English Heritage at the threat posed by 400ft wind turbines to heritage sites and precious landscapes.  The inspector acknowledges that damage will be caused but his hands are tied by the Government policies within which he has to operate.
 
The inspector justifies his decision by saying that, in relation to nearby villages, “any reasonable observer would recognise the settlement and the church as features of historic, architectural and cultural significance, and the wind turbines as modern, large-scale, functional impositions designed to capture energy from the wind.  The presence of the wind turbines would be something of a distraction”.  So that's alright then.
 
The Government is giving precedence to national targets for onshore wind energy generation over local planning decisions.  Subsidies for developers and landowners are encouraging wind turbines in unsuitable places, ignoring both landscape damage and the limited amount of electricity they generate.
 
Sir Paul Hayter of CPRE Northamptonshire says: “We remember the Arctic temperatures of December 2010 when the wind did not blow.  Are we going to sacrifice our precious countryside and heritage for the benefit of  developers and an unreliable source of power?  If the conditions at Lyveden New Bield are not worthy of protection, is anywhere safe?”

 

 

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Tove Action Group
At 16:59 on 16th March 2012, Tove Action Group commented:
Yet again this decision by a Planning Inspector gives the lie to the supposed power of localism! Democratic processes are being consistently ignored in order to meet the Government's targets for renewable energy. It aparently doesn't matter that wind turbines will blight the landscape, nor that they offer a costly and inefficient form of energy - just so long as they tick the box for more renewables. Northamptonshire is fast losing everything that makes its landscape distinctive, even areas of historic importance are falling victim to the continuing spread of industrial wind turbines. It is time to call a halt to this policy.

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