Brighton council came under fire this week for a sudden decision to ban windmills across the municipality pending a review.
The by-law was passed without prior public discussion and forbids any person “to erect, construct or expand a windmill” for at least one year.
The unexpected decision comes despite provincial support for increased use of renewable energy and worldwide efforts to promote the technology as part of a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Rob Taylor, president of the local Green Party, said: “I think it is a step in the wrong direction.”
“We are running out of non-renewable fuels and people that are making an effort to use renewable energy sources should be commended not held back,” he said.
The by-law is to remain in place pending a wider review of land use.
The decision is a setback to plans by locally-owned Rowley Electric to encourage take-up of renewable energy among households and small businesses. The company has teamed up with East Northumberland Secondary School to erect a wind and solar power system intended to serve as a model. Rowley will be permitted to erect a windmill at ENSS and at its own site.
This means it is free to promote and sell windmills but may not be allowed to erect them, although councillors indicated they would consider exceptions.
21 February 2008
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