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Don't spoil countryside with turbines  

An area stretching from Fullaford Down to Rackenford to Lapford Bradworthy has been designated by the government and county council as preferred sites of wind turbine farms in Devon.This area includes the existing and proposed sites of Fullerton, Bradworthy, Kenwith Valley, Parkham, Den Brook, Higher Darracott, Swingdon, Cross Moor, Batsworthy Cross, Beech Tree, Stibb Cross, etc.

Fullabrook may be the area you’ve heard about, but when proposals are made for wind turbines in your immediate area, you will be concerned.

Private individuals are now applying for the siting of these wind turbines on land that they own, usually away from their own line of sight. Government help is also available at the taxpayers’ expense.

Planning approval for these sites, if less than five turbines is envisaged, is no more than required for an extension to a private dwelling, only more likely to succeed.

I have heard it said that when the main electric pylons were first planned there was a considerable outcry about them. Yes, they do spoil the countryside but the benefit is for all the people, not just the few.

Wind turbines appearing across the countryside are a growing concern for some of those who live in these areas, but unfortunately there are many that are unaware of what is going on and the potential disfigurement of the countryside around them.

Facts and figures will always be quoted to justify these farms, but careful consideration should be given to these people as many receive discounted electric prices, thereby having a vested interest.

If you are inclined to believe the figures that are quoted, then you will be among those that believe the inflation figures. Look to your own finances.

Ask yourself why only in North Devon, the wind also blows in South Devon? Does the word ‘votes’ spring to mind?

Our government is scrapping the idea of a 181 turbine wind farm on the Isle of Lewis, they will argue that it is because of environmental considerations and nothing to do with more than 5,000 letters objecting.

You may be aware that this country buys electricity from France, did you know that those folk who live on the coast of Kent live nearer to a nuclear power station in France than one in this country? The buying of this electricity will be offered as one reason for having these turbines, but they are still going ahead with nuclear power station building here. The government is quite rightly keen on any renewable energy idea. Wind turbines are among the cheapest to install.

The electric companies have to show that some of their energy production is from renewable energy. Stick a solar panel on your roof and join the club.

It is commonly thought that if a turbine is rotating, then it will be generating electricity. This is not necessarily true. As a rough guide at least a 10mph wind is required before it is enough to be of use to the generator. If the wind speed is less, then the rotating turbine will be ‘freewheeling’. If the wind gets above 40 to 50mph then the turbine must shut down. This is all dependent on the type and model.

There will not be mass employment on these sites. Most of the turbines are made abroad, some of the blades are made of timber, hopefully from a sustainable forest. When finally installed they are run by computers, with minimal staff.

What was the reason you moved down here or want to stay here? A better way of life. If all these wind farms go ahead it will create the appearance of an industrial area with the benefits they enjoy!

Ask your local MP and your councillors for their views and see how many refer to government targets dictated by the EU. You will be told there is not much they can do about it.

You do not have to put your hand up or volunteer at a meeting, just be there and listen to the discussion. Your presence can have a steadying effect on decisions that have to be made.

Officials are there because you voted for them. Write making inquiries from the people concerned – see if you get an answer.

There are many things that you should be sure about before accepting wind turbines. Consider the ‘flicker effect’ of the blade passing in front of the sun. The proposers will give you a diagram showing the area that they say will be covered by this effect, but it seems to me that their sun does not move. Mine does.

Why not put them in an industrial area? They might fall over? Too noisy! They appear to be all right in Bristol.

Do you really want your country spoilt?

D J HICKS,

Parkham,

Nr Bideford.

Western Morning News

20 March 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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