Horror on Romney Marshes


On the Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway: The “Winston Churchill” locomotive

I remember as a child my parents taking me for holidays on the South Coast, and a key attraction that’s always stuck in my mind was the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, “Kent’s Mainline in Miniature”.  So I was delighted to find myself in the Buffet of Aldersgate Street Station — no, sorry, that’s Betjeman — the Romney Station Buffet of the RH&D Railway last Thursday, drinking a cup of tea in the company of Liz Phillips, the lynchpin of UKIP’s London office.

After a week in “foreign” — Europe — I had a public meeting on Thursday evening in the Scout Hut at Romney.  (I say Scout Hut, but it was a fairly smart building, more like a Village Hall).  So instead of flying, I took the Eurostar back to the UK, and alighted at Ashford, where Liz kindly met me, and we set out on the short drive across the Romney Marshes.  These marshes form a beautiful, almost ethereal landscape, broad skies stretched over a vast, level country, interspersed by dykes (they seem to have the dredging right around here) and punctuated by the towers and spires of fourteen ancient Mediæval churches.

But sadly, the eco-vandals and the green iconoclasts can’t see a beautiful, unspoiled landscape with wanting to cover it with wind turbines, so my event, not surprisingly, was a public protest meeting — well attended by UKIP councillors and supporters, but also by concerned members of the public.  And UKIP’s South East MEP candidate Janice Atkinson. UKIP of course is in the forefront of opposition to wind farms, both because of the damage they do locally, and because of their malign effect on our economy and industrial competitiveness.

In the audience was the redoubtable Patricia Rolfe of SOMBRE, the local group fighting the plan.  www.sombre.org (Save Our Marsh, Stop Rural Exploitation).  I was slightly embarrassed that she seemed to know more about the problems of wind farms than I did, and she made an important contribution to the meeting.

Frustratingly, planning enquiries on wind farms are not entitled to consider questions of national policy (or arguably no wind farms would ever have been built).  Local campaigners have to concentrate on local issues: visual intrusion, housing blight, noise, health impacts, effects on wildlife and environment.  These are key questions, but all too often the inspector decides they’re a matter of opinion, and chooses to give greater weight to what he sees as “national priorities”.

However SOMBRE have one big local issue going for them.  Not far from the proposed site is an RSPB nature reserve — indeed the oldest of the RSPB’s 200 or so nature reserves. This is an important wildlife resource, and the last thing it needs is some bird-chomping turbines right next to it.  (If you haven’t followed the vast carnage that turbines inflict on birds — and especially migratory birds and raptors — try this).   But this time, there is a real prospect that the RSPB will set the clear and present danger to its own nature reserve against the speculative science and the vague future possibility of global warming.

And it’s not just the RSPB reserve.  There’s also an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) in Romney Marsh.   The Inspector certainly should put that high on his agenda.

In a rational world, we wouldn’t be building wasteful wind turbines at all.  We certainly wouldn’t be desecrating wonderful and historic landscapes like the Romney Marsh.  And pray God the Inspector won’t want to jeopardise an RSPB reserve and an SSSI.

All is not lost: there’s some good news around.  Although it seems that local planning Committees always oppose wind turbine developments, and that the man from Whitehall always over-rules the local decision (as happened in my own village), there are some good decisions coming through.  In my East Midlands region, I was delighted to hear last week that the proposal for a wind farm at Lyveden New Bield had been knocked back — establishing a legal precedent in favour of historic building and landscapes.    This one had an added piquancy, as it was Ed Miliband’s wife Justine Thornton appearing — and failing — as barrister for the developers.  And of course the extension to the Thames Array has been cancelled, to the relief of local sailors and fishermen.

Maybe Cameron is slowly getting his wish to abandon the “Green Crap”.  But as I write (Feb 22nd, just three months ahead of the euro-elections), only UKIP is firmly committed to opposing the UK/EU’s ruinous climate and energy plans.

I left the meeting in the Scout Hut around 8:10 p.m., for the drive to Ashford, train to St. Pancras, tube to Euston, train to Birmingham International, mono-rail to the airport, and the drive home.  Bed around 1:00 a.m.  But I guess that’s politics.

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37 Responses to Horror on Romney Marshes

  1. Francis says:

    As you say Roger no one in central government is listening and so the wishes of the local people are overridden. As long as the myth of wind power is believed we shall be stuck with these eyesores.

  2. DICK R says:

    Now that the ecolunacy is being exposed for what it is , the only reason for the persistent implementation of the ‘ green crap’ is deliberate ruination plus a desire by the EU commissars to remind the population just who is the boss.

  3. barrymx5 says:

    Well done Roger. I too have fond memories of the miniature railway from childhood. I hope you are right about RSPB but their leadership is diabolical. I will forward your report to AATOM whom you met up with in Somerset last November.
    Perhaps see you at Torquay.

  4. Me_Again says:

    If I were near Romney I wouldn’t hold much hope that a triple SI or the RSPB [previously in favour of bat splatters and bird chompers] will deter the evangelical advance of windmills.
    We have two applications nearby that have been knocked back 3 times each by parish, town and county council yet still the developers persist. Both are going to appeal. Local to the area is one of the most important estuaries in europe for a variety of transiting birds [I forget its exact description] but the developers expect the birds to fly through air traffic control corridors both night and day. All of these bat/bird mincers are 420 feet tall. They are to be stuck on top or part way up the folds in the hills and will be the tallest structures in Lincolnshire, dwarfing even the Humber bridge towers. Luckily for us the land isn’t owned by another local bat mincer fan, none other than Dave’s Dad in law, Sir Freddie.

    • catalanbrian says:

      I think that you will find that the developers avoid placing turbines in areas where birds are likely to fly into the blades, such as migratory and feeding routes.

      • Me_Again says:

        I think you’ll find that they don’t Brian……

      • catalanbrian says:

        I suggest that you check your facts as I know that at least some developers employ bird experts to advise on these matters.

      • Me_Again says:

        I am a member of the local protest group opposing these Brian. Started 3 years ago, and I can tell you with absolute certainty that they only employ people to do EIAs bird and bat assessments to counter local protest including from heritage groups and the local twitchers. They site these things based on potential for wind, they don’t give a shit if its on the migratory path of the pink footed goose or the golden plovers that we get around here by the thousand.

      • John Bolton says:

        Wind developers do employ expert consultants on many environmental issues.
        But be very cautionary over your assertions.

        Under cross examination at our recent public inquiry our QC asked a consultant how many wind farm applications he had contributed his expert services. About thirty he proudly asserted. The inevitable follow up question was “How many of these have you opposed?” There was a long long silence………….”none” he replied!

        There are specialist consultancies that offer ‘wind developer’ services and are well known and well used within the industry. They are all perfectly capable of trying to argue that black is white!

        The moral of the story is he who pays the piper calls the tune.

      • Me_Again says:

        Exactly my point John. The planners tell them they have to have an environmental impact assessment so they hire a consultancy to do that -so they are not independent. Guess what the answer is going to be?
        Part of that impact assessment might reveal the presence of various endangered or rare or special interest creatures -this is done through paper trolling rather than observation. Also the local RSPB, lepidopterologists, English heritage and any other bugger they can get info out of. If required they will hire a specialist to blow away your objections. QCs specialise in aiding developers, the whole machinery of the state is against you and most opposition groups cannot afford barristers.

        So Brian don’t tell me they are the good guys because they ain’t.

      • John Bolton says:

        Me Agian.
        Tragically RSPB has become thoroughly politicized. Naive local bird groups tend to follow the RSPB in a parroted (no pun intended!) fashion. No turbine appeal has been won on ecological grounds as far as I’me aware. If you’re a rare raptor (eg Red Kite, Buzzard, Barn Owl) the only people to protect you from these scary killing machines will be the local community. For that act of compassion the local community will be insulted and harangued as just selfish NIMBY’s by people who pride themselves as environmentalists!! Good luck Me Again!

      • catalanbrian says:

        I know, repeat know, that bird experts are consulted by at least some companies (my son works in the industry and he has no reason to lie to me or mislead me) in order to minimise the impact on bird populations. Mind you this seems a pointless excise on their part because the anti wind farm brigade will still claim otherwise, quoting ludicrously large and unsupported numbers of birds killed by turbines.

      • George Morley says:

        I don’t agree with you as you forgot to tell the birds. In any case why put up something that is not fit for purpose ? The developers are not likely to stop if there is money to be got from putting up just a few more !

      • DICK R says:

        Fuck the birds our tax money comes first

      • Me_Again says:

        They are usually a bit small for that and the ones that are big enough would probably knock 7 shades of shit out of you for trying…..

      • Roger Helmer MEP says:

        For everyone who has commented on the birds issue, I really would urge you to read the link in my blog post https://rogerhelmermep.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/an-open-letter-to-rspb-members/ The numbers are horrifying. Millions — not hundreds or thousands. And while it’s true that many birds die on the roads etc, they tend to be local birds. Wind turbines preferentially kill migratory birds and raptors. And a great many bats.

      • Flyinthesky says:

        I’ve come to a sad conclusion, you’re either paid or not very bright, you believe everything and evaluate nothing.
        Life rule 2: “beware expert opinion as the principal beneficiary is often the expert”
        If you pay an expert for an opinion you get and expect the opinion you desire.
        The RSPB is another political wing of the environment agency.I feel sorry for the membership, it has little to do with birds.
        Wind farm installers have no concern for energy security, carbon reduction or anything along those lines they are in fact subsidy farming, care of your beloved eu directives.
        Every time you see a windmill I want you to see the realities, the impoverished being pushed further into the eat or heat situation while enriching subsidy seekers who can already afford their energy bills. The Chinese villagers having their environment destroyed by rare earth mining toxicity, for every turbine we have, as a minimum, one chinaman has paid for it with his life. There are some very dirty fingers out there and your’s are among them.

      • catalanbrian says:

        I am quite astonished by the claptrap that you seem to believe. Like others on this blog you need to resort to offensive remarks whenever anybody disagrees with your viewpoint.

  5. Noted that Somerset Levels was mentioned as being in the EU description as being a ‘Washland’. And, noted that there are more Wind Turbines now in Avon Docks and they just spoil everything and everyones view of the area from the M5. Just thought I would mention that….

  6. Richard111 says:

    Couple of interesting points here percolated through to my dull brain, migratory birds like to fly with the wind and developers like to erect bird chompers where the wind blows. I think this might be a case of “Houston, we have a problem.”

    • Me_Again says:

      Interesting point Richard, but I think the size [i.e. width] of the air streams that migratory birds use are probably larger than the width of the country at times.

      • catalanbrian says:

        I think that you will find that that is incorrect. Birds migrate along fairly well defined and relatively narrow routes.

      • Me_Again says:

        Yes of course Brian, the world is full of nice people and fairy cakes with pink icing……
        How many contracts do you think companies which fail to provide good grounds for building wind turbines get? They are in the pay of the developers they are whores, simple. They kow tow, bow and scrape to the developers telling them ‘not there but here that way they can’t complain for A,B,C reasons. Whores the lot of them and if that includes your son then tough.

      • catalanbrian says:

        Me Again. It is quite alarming just how much tosh you believe. Your problem is that you have no valid argument so you have to resort to abuse and offensiveness.

      • Me_Again says:

        Jees it isn’t belief you prawn, it’s world experience…….jees crawl out of your shell every now and then and experience real world graft and corruption.
        What arguments have you got apart from a strange belief that people are actually default good?

      • catalanbrian says:

        As I said. No argument, so abuse and rudeness. That is the yah boo politics of the playground, which is not worthy of my attention, nor that of anyone else I would think.

      • Me_Again says:

        Well you just stay in your little rosy, cosy world then Brian, it sounds nice in there insulated from reality.

      • catalanbrian says:

        I think that it is me that is in touch with reality, whereas I really wonder about some posters hereon. You must spend your whole life terrified of all the conspiracies lined up against you. I don’t envy your position at all

      • Me_Again says:

        Well the thing is this, there are those who skate across the pond of life without ever being aware that there are depths beneath them, and then there are those with glass bottomed boats who can see all too clearly that there are.

        Being aware is not a sin, being unaware you won’t notice.

  7. peter says:

    Wind farms jesus how stupid these things are we have about 200 outside my house and most day half a re working or all of them are stopped .The gearboxes don’t last and they kill wildlife but the best way to deal with them is to read the attached report which totally spells out how useless they are . Nigel Farage used to work for me about 100 years ago so am a big fan . Peter Dodds Whitstable kent

    Peter Reminder Nightmare in Paradise Hypnotizin’ Boogie Bad Blood and Sweet Dreams All available in the Amazon E-book catalogue Date: Sat, 22 Feb 2014 10:46:52 +0000 To: peterdodds41@hotmail.com

  8. Jane Davies says:

    The dreaded wind turbines are crossing the pond like an alien invasion. We now have one wind farm here on Vancouver Island… we have many Canada geese flight paths and large populations of bald eagles, and the bald eagles are huge birds, it is yet to be documented what damage these new ‘farms’ are going to do. I believe bald eagles are a protected species but no doubt we will have more of these blots on our beautiful landscape and no amount of protesting will stop this invasion.

  9. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Neta showing Windmills at 16% contribution to baseload today……oh dear.

    Must be an awful lot of pulped birds as a result. As regards that nobody is listening….or any of it really. The spanish/italians will get the little tweeters on the way back. They’ll have to I suspect, what with those loan repayments and not much jobs.

    Anyway, its about time for a war…pick one….Ukraine?


  10. Here in South Suffolk we face both unwanted windturbines and solar farms which also blight the landscape. Two solar applications have recently been turned down by the local district council and we are putting up opposition to a longstanding windturbine application near Ipswich.

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