Since the year 2000 I and others have requested Fenland District Council to formulate a policy concerning introduction into rural Fenland of industrial wind turbines.
It was Fenland Council which naively requested and welcomed this hugely-intrusive industry into our rural environment, without any thought concerning the future implications.
Seven years later the horse bolted but the stable doors still remain open; and, as predicted, the rural Fenland landscape and skyline are now almost dominated by this heavy and intrusive industry.
Developers view our district as a prime target for industrial development due to a lack of planning policy – an appalling and unforgivable situation.
Amazingly it is the developer who decides what impact these massive industrial giants will have on our environment, not the planner. What other industry dictates the acceptability of the impact its development will have on the character, landscape, and skyline of the countryside? This should be for planners to decide, not the developer.
It is apparent that knowledge of this planning ineptitude has reached abroad, with the arrival of Spanish, German and Italian developers, all wanting a slice of this fenland countryside action.
The council now acknowledges that necessary expertise does not exist within the corridors of power that may enable them to process or determine wind power applications. It now says it requires a team of lawyers to extract them from this self-inflicted situation.
All this could have been prevented, by public consultation and public debate. But in its eagerness to appease Government policy, wind turbine applications were bludgeoned through the remnants of a planning process which embraced and supported an industry that has caused division among local communities and industrialised their once peaceful rural environment.
Hiring a team of lawyers will cost the council tax payers dearly. However, this damage limitation exercise may enable the council to regain some of its credibility by today starting its formulation of a wind turbine planning policy that it has avoided up to now.
While the process of formulating that policy is under way, all wind applications must be put on hold.
Fenland is now on the tipping point of total rural landscape and skyline industrialisation. I say enough is enough.
Cambs Environmental and Wildlife Protection
24 August 2007
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