Rebel Council is attempting to block the building of new wind farms in populated areas


There’s a growing backlash against turbines blighting the skyline

Tuesday June 5,2012
By Macer Hall

A REBEL council is attempting to block the building of new wind farms in populated areas in a backlash against so-called green energy.

The first such move by a county council flies in the face of David Cameron’s pledge that his Coalition is the country’s

“greenest government ever”.

Tory Lincolnshire will vote this week on proposed new planning guidance that includes a presumption that no new turbines will be erected near homes within the authority’s boundaries.

It follows growing irritation with wind farms, which have been criticised as unsightly, noisy, expensive and inefficient.

Leader of the council Martin Hill, said: “We are not saying we are not going to have any more but we feel we have already got 75 big turbines – things above 130 metres high.

“There are several hundred in the pipeline and I don’t think we want the whole county to be covered by a forest of the things.”

The council is to issue a policy statement stating that new wind farms should not be built within six miles of villages of more than 10 homes.

The authority does not have control of planning issues, which are handled by the district councils.

But Mr Hill said he expected the district councils and other authorities – including the Government – to “take into account” the view of the elected county councillors.

Mr Cameron is committed to the use of wind as the UK seeks to move to cleaner energy sources.

But Mr Hill said: “I’m quite sceptical about the efficacy of wind farms in particular because once you look at the science behind it I’m afraid it doesn’t really stack up.”

The move against wind farms by a Conservative-controlled council comes amid speculation that Chancellor George Osborne is set to cut subsidies for onshore wind farms by up to 25 per cent.

More than 100 Tory MPs wrote to Mr Cameron earlier this year calling for cuts in the £400million subsidies.

Conservative MP Tim Yeo, chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, said yesterday:

“There is certainly a backlash against onshore wind at the moment.”

But he argued that the UK needed to move to cleaner energy and stressed that there was an economic case for the turbines.

He added: “Onshore wind is a quick and fairly easy win. The technology exists, the costs are coming down and the costs of subsidising onshore are less than half those of offshore.”

The wind farm debate comes amid reports yesterday that the Government is trying to water down key environmental regulations from Brussels.

British officials are said to be trying to prevent the adoption of European Union rules on energy efficiency and making many of them voluntary rather than mandatory.

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