The modern blight of wind turbines are, like giant Triffids, marching ever onward. Six more West Cumbrian villages are likely to suffer a similar fate to Bothel; yet more examples of local people being ridden over roughshod.
Having seen Broadview Energy’s plans for Westnewton, the wind farm is to be just 700 metres away on a ridge where it will overshadow our village.
Why should these massive, noisy and ugly industrial monsters be allowed to be sited so close to our homes?
I understand that in Europe, France in particular, no turbines are allowed within two kilometres of a private residence.
Little, if any, consideration is given to local people’s views. Occasionally the companies involved might offer a presentation, staffed by slick professional salespeople, or they try to sweeten the locals with perhaps a new community centre or maybe a playground, when actually this money has already come out of our pockets in electricity bills or via our taxes in the form of subsidies.
They are frankly little more than latter-day carpetbaggers, mainly from the south, coming to rape our countryside.
Motivated more by profit than ecology, they have jumped on to the Government’s green bandwagon, as have many greedy landowners happy to make their fortunes at the cost of their neighbour’s misery.
The Westnewton turbines are to be as large as those at Voridian, which are said to be the tallest in Cumbria.
At 351ft they are taller than Big Ben, and who would want that virtually at the end of their garden?
Broadview claim they have taken “careful consideration of the environmental impact and the views of residents, and taken particular care to minimise the impact of noise, visual impact and shadow flicker whilst helping to maximise turbine efficiency”
This beggars belief. Frankly they don’t really give a damn.
We will certainly suffer from noise and “shadow flicker”, probably vibration too and very, very definitely “visual impact”.
They will deprive us of our quality of life.
There is evidence that the proximity of a wind farm can reduce the value of property by 30 per cent or even make houses virtually unsaleable.
There are, I understand, already 12 wind farms in Allerdale and this has already reached the minimum it is required to site, according to Government guidelines. Why therefore are yet another six needed?
These companies are ready to state facts about the efficiency of their products and how many villages or thousands of households their particular turbines will supply, and it is seldom that one set of figures will match another.
I have read that the Westnewton turbines are capable of supplying 6,989 houses (an interestingly exact figure!) for a year, with no mention of their biggest disadvantage – the natural unreliability of the wind.
Last April the National Grid published a research paper showing that supplies of electricity from wind was highly erratic and casting doubts on their reliability as a source of power, showing that at best they can only operate at 35 per cent efficiency. Just who could provide us with real figures; could we really trust a windmill salesman to do so?
Should Broadview Energy Developments and their ilk get their way, then Westnewton, an attractive farming village, and many other similar communities, can look forward to being in the shadow of these monsters with no guarantee that it will ever have been worth such a sacrifice.
J ALAN KEIGHLEY
28 September 2007
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