Council calls for halt to wind farm ‘invasion’
Thursday 07 June 2012 08:00
Lincolnshire County Council has pledged to halt the “unrestrained invasion” of wind farms across the county.
It stopped short of a blanket ban on new wind farms, but said it wanted to “raise the bar even higher” for anyone wanting to construct a wind farm in the county and urged them to think twice about the impact their plans would have.
There are 75 wind farms in the county, but the tougher stance means that any firms planning new developments are likely to face strong opposition from district authorities, which are responsible for planning decisions.
“There’s been a proliferation of wind farms across Lincolnshire in recent years, and we feel that enough is enough,” council leader Martin Hill said.
“Although we understand the need for alternative energy and are not opposed to all wind farms, we remain unconvinced by the questionable science behind them.”
He said wind farms were spoiling the countryside and could seriously damage the county’s tourism industry. There were also concerns about the impact on energy bills from the subsidies such projects attracted and the damage to roads during construction and decommissioning of turbines.
The tougher stance is aimed at large-scale wind farms, and while the council said smaller single turbines – such as those found on farms – were more acceptable, only time will tell whether the attitude of planners towards these is also more cautious.
Phil McVan, managing director of renewables firm Myriad CEG Power said there was a radical difference between large wind farms and individual farmers installing a small turbine on their land and urged local authorities to be more supportive.
“Creating almost a ‘blanket ban’ on wind turbines may win votes, but it’s not going to help to reduce carbon emissions from local communities and I think most people recognise the importance of this.
“The government and local authorities need to be seen to be supporting the renewables sector, ensuring that rural and other communities don’t miss out on the real benefits of green energy.
“As well as reducing carbon footprint, wind technology also produces revenue streams that can be re-invested into local communities.”
Lincolnshire council’s decision followed a recent High Court ruling that rejected plans for four large (105m tall) turbines in Norfolk, in favour of conserving the local countryside.
Farmers weekly 15th June 2012