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Windmills of mass deception

Yet again the Windmills of Mass Deception rear their ugly heads on the landscape of North Devon. This time npower has applied for nine of these monsters at Batsworthy Cross adjacent to Moortown service area on the Link Road between South Molton and Tiverton.

Don’t they have any consideration for the feelings and concerns of the vast majority of North Devonians who have repeatedly said they do not want them? For if they are approved they will stand sentinel at the gateway to North Devon; a permanent reminder of the greed of the few who are determined to desecrate the beauty of the district enjoyed by so many.

The npower website offers the usual rubbish attempting to give credence to the proposal, backed up with a self-serving statement made by Tony Blair in September 2004. Yes, the same Tony Blair who intervened directly to stop five WTGs near his constituency home in the spring of 2005!

This statement was made long before the recently published Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, much-publicised for its dire forecasts of economic disaster due to climate change. Its conclusions were based upon projection, probability, hypothesis and that old favourite ‘computer modelling’. Sir Nicholas Stern is Head of the Government Economics Service and adviser to the Government on the economics of climate change and development, so it is hardly surprising that his conclusions suit his political master.

Yet this is the political dogma imposed by central Government onto elected representatives of the people. This is done by the unelected South West Regional assembly where, according to Nick Harvey MP in a letter to me, Government policy is’…”cascaded down”….’ (code for ‘dictated’) to county and district council members on the SWRA. These members are then required to ensure the policy is adopted by their particular authority.

This is what is behind the decision made by North Devon District Council in June this year to adopt the principle of on-shore WTG’s as part of their Renewable Energy Strategy (RES).

Undoubtedly they will use the Stern Review to reinforce their commitment to appeasing the Government on climate change policy.

But where does that leave the Batsworthy proposal? In my view this could well be the one the district council adopts as part of their RES even if they win the imminent public inquiry and scupper the Fullabrook application.

It is up to every individual to lobby district councillors and Nick Harvey to make their feelings known; otherwise inevitably we will have WTG’s in North Devon whether we want them or not. If you don’t act, who will?

Bob Ashton,

Bratton Fleming