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Abuse of Somerset countryside

I may not be spending all my time painting landscapes, but when I hear about proposals that could alter the face of sensitive regions within my own county, then I get very concerned.

The Somerset Levels are rich in heritage, wildlife and visual quality. Any intrusion by modern buildings into the wide-open flat landscape is one that should be resisted with great effort. One area of Somerset, containing a prominent landmark, is now being threatened by a windfarm development, using towers 300 feet high.

Now……I know there are plenty of people out there who think that we should sacrifice the countryside in order to “reap the benefits” of natural energy. Well, excuse me, but I don’t think that raping outstanding Somerset countryside with wind-turbines is a suitable price to pay. The “benefits” are questionable in any case, since windpower can never provide enough energy to fulfill even a portion of the country’s needs.

Somerset County Council’s heritage department is launching a bid to nominate the Somerset Levels as a World Heritage site. Very nice. I don’t think they will get very far with it if Sedgemoor district council gives the go-ahead for five of these turbines, at 300 feet in height, to be built near the prominent landmark of Brent Knoll and the village itself.

These high structures will be seen for miles across the Levels. Such a development also threatens to open the door for further windfarms, built by just about anybody who gets the nod from the county council.

There is an official website for this campaign, and I’ve put it in my Links section.

Windfarms have already caused major upsets for many people in the UK, and it seems that developers are keen to get their hands on all the major beauty-spots. With government threatening to relax planning regulations, the British countryside is under threat like never before.

We don’t need these windfarms. Politicians really don’t care about our countryside, no matter what they might tell you; it’s only money that talks, in the end.

If you’re able to offer even just a letter of support for these campaigners, then please visit their website.


By Christine Derrick


20 May 2007