Wind farms: a 1.4 mile limit? Or not?

Sunset for wind farms?

Sunset for wind farms?

First we had Energy Minister John Hayes giving the thumbs down to wind farms, insisting that no more would be built.    Then we had Owen Paterson, Environment Minister, calling for an end to subsidies for wind — which would effectively mean the end of wind energy in the UK.

And now we have Nick Boles, Planning Minister, asking for a 1.4 mile (2 km?) set-back from dwellings for new turbines.   This is a measure which has been widely discussed.  Lincolnshire County Council, to its eternal credit, has put such a limit in its planning policy, as have a number of local authorities.  But no national ruling exists so far.

And the same article that records Nick Boles’ 1.4 mile demand also reports that Eric Pickles, the well-upholstered Secretary of State for Communities, has emphasised the importance of local authorities in the planning process.  “We look to local planning authorities to determine where a wind farm or a single turbine might go, and in particular where they might not”.

Given that local authority planning enquiries regularly find against wind farm planning applications, and that the developers then appeal, and the Man from Whitehall routinely overturns the local decision, Mr. Pickles’ comments smack of hypocrisy.  Add the fact that the Lib-Dem half of the Coalition, represented by Ed Davey, a man steeped in old-fashioned green extremism, regularly insists that his wind farm programme is on track and will not be derailed by Conservatives, and we see that even the hypocrisy itself is mired in confusion.

Conservative Ministers keep singing the right song on wind, but the Coalition government continues with its deeply flawed and damaging policy, which is desecrating what’s left of our countryside.

I feel particularly aggrieved on behalf of my village, which has the Low Spinney wind farm within a mile of the curtilege of the community.  Like so many such developments, it was turned down by the local council, Harborough District, but allowed on appeal.  Since Low Spinney stands as a reproach both to Nick Boles’ 1.4 mile set-back, and to Eric Pickles insistence on the primacy of local planning, can we now expect to have the wretched thing dismantled?

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4 Responses to Wind farms: a 1.4 mile limit? Or not?

  1. The largely dotty Liberal (non-democrat) part of the Coalition is so very much at variance with Tory thinking that one wonders how they can work at all in Government with their political partners. Their favouring, in general, of big government, higher taxes, “green” policies and European integration makes them entirely unsuitable bedfellows.

  2. Avellana says:

    It is my hope for 2013 that a responsible government provides a chance to retrospectively examine wind energy clusters and the land around them. Using the developer’s OWN environmental statements to compare the fantasy world of wind energy and the reality. Why should we be paying for this tragic destructive and futile energy production? Why should Councils and planners be trapped, bribed and fed with their mantras and gifts. It is sickening and sad. “You can’t stop them” I hear this all the time. The process of trade off voting is made more vicious when there are Community Funds sloshing about. How was it that bribery was accepted and crept into the planning process? Along with many others we have had success but witnessed such destruction in Scotland alone to beg for sanity to return to process in what is becoming a political farce and permanent harm.

  3. Roger,

    You may be interested in this report, which strongly suggests we have been sold a huge Pup in the Wind Farm scam

  4. Ivor Ward says:

    It is time the Tories stood up to be counted. The incredible cowardice of Cameron , who chose to capitulate to the tree hugging Lib Dems rather than go out and call another election and demand a proper majority is the root cause of this farce. He had the chance to call out the electorate and challenge them to either vote Labour or Tory. Chances are he would have got his majority and not now be dragged into the quagmire by the likes of Davey and his cohorts. Now, after a term of prevaricating and pussy footing around these technological dinosaurs he will probably lose his own core vote. Voting for UKIP is increasingly beginning to look like the only escape from this Eton Boys bum slapping club.

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