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Planning policy is out of control

Your front page article on the proposal for more wind turbines in Fenland does indeed raise some serious questions for our local planning authority.

Since the planning acts came into being in 1947, our local planning authority has, in the main, been successful in resisting developments in the countryside which would harm the visual amenity and special character of the Fenland landscape.

However, when proposals for the gigantic wind turbines came about, it appeared to ignore all its previous policies for retaining the special character of our landscape and with no special policies for controlling both the number and siting of these massive turbine structures, it has given the turbine developers a free hand to develop wherever they wish.

For planning officers to say they will request developers to produce a report on the cumulative impact of the development is crazy. It is the job of the planning authority to develop a policy that states the number of turbines considered suitable for the character of Fenland, which in my opinion is nil, and perhaps more important, areas where such a large structure can have the least visual impact on our landscape, which in my opinion is out at sea.

The so-called ‘officials’ from Fenland Council who ask if the landscape “has accommodated sufficient wind turbines” should not be in control of protecting our landscape.

As John Stoneman said in his letter to your paper: “Planning control is out of control as far as turbine development is concerned.” How can you have senior officers and members of the council praising the positive contribution these structures have on our landscape and then start expressing concerns.

Your report on Tesco stating that it wishes to build a large turbine next to its store to help reduce its carbon footprint may look good until you walk into the store and see apples grown on the other side of the world. And you begin to wonder.

Are they really green (Tesco, not the apples)? We are losing our local orchards only to import apples from thousands of miles away.

Both central and local governments need to grasp the climate change issue in a more fundamental way, building massive turbines in our countryside for us to continue wasting energy is not the answer.

TREVOR WATSON, The Laurels, March

Cambs Times

29 June 2007