I’ve just seen the decision of the government inspector on an appeal regarding the Lyveden New Bield wind farm proposal. Predictably, the Inspector has accepted the appeal (Appeal Ref: APP/G2815/A/11/2156757). Too may of these men from Whitehall simply look at the objection and say “Government renewables policy overrides local objections”, and that’s that. Months or years of work by local protest groups, the long grind of fund-raising, tens of thousands spent on representation and lawyers, all swept aside in a few hours.
It’s heartbreaking. I know, because it happened in my local village in Leicestershire with the Low Spinney application, and now we have four intimidating 400-ft monsters louring over the village. It’s also happened with regard to the Brigstock application in Northamptonshire. This case is particularly egregious since it is close to the National Trust’s historic Lyveden New Bield site. But government inspectors have no respect for landscape or heritage.
One observation of the inspector broke new ground for extraordinary, crass, pig-headed ignorance and prejudice. The Inspector’s report says:
“11. Some concerns were raised about the capacity factor of the scheme, based around the perception that the area is not especially windy. However, that is not borne out by the appellant’s analysis. I fail to see why a developer would be prepared to make the significant investment required to gain permission for, or indeed seek to implement, the wind farm if it was not going to operate in an efficient or cost-effective manner. In that context, it is reasonable to assess the potential capacity of the wind farm as up to 10 MW”.
“I fail to see why a developer would make the investment … if it was not going to operate in a cost-efficient manner”. Honest. I’m not making it up. This is what the Inspector wrote, officially in his report. I’d like to grab him by the lapels and give him a good shaking and ask “What about the subsidies?”. None of these turbines is efficient or cost effective on any definition. They are only there because they are subsidised, at the expense of consumers, including poor pensioners in fuel poverty who are at risk of hypothermia in the winter because they can’t afford the electricity bills.
That’s the reason — the only reason — why wind farms are being built. So that rich landowners like Cameron’s father-in-law can profit from the misery of the poor. They’re not farming wind. They’re farming subsidies. Words fail me.