‘Rural terrorists” was how a company described the protesters who destroyed a 280ft anemometer mast, built to test wind speeds for yet another clump of giant wind turbines in Norfolk. “People have a democratic right to complain,” said a spokesman for the Marshland St James wind consortium, “but this was a criminal act.”
No doubt it was, but one reason people might be tempted to commit such criminal acts is that the Government, in its zeal to see thousands more wind turbines built, has removed pretty well all democracy from the process.
Repeatedly, applications to cover our countryside with these useless installations are turned down by democratically-elected local councils, only for their decisions to be overruled by Government inspectors using a document called PPS22 (Planning Policy Statement 22). Issued as a diktat by John Prescott, without consulting Parliament, this is designed to ram through turbine proposals regardless of planning law or the wishes of local communities, simply to meet “regional targets”, based on targets for renewables set by the EU under the Kyoto Protocol.
So far Norfolk’s flat landscape has little more than a dozen turbines, mostly quite small. At least 150 more are planned, on and offshore, mostly 300 and 400ft giants. When the Government denies people any democratic means of stopping them, is it surprising that some resort to the only form of protest they think is left to them?
By Christopher Booker
12 May 2007
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