I refer to your recent article, ‘wind farm blows hot and cold’.
I was fascinated to read Keith Thompson’s views about the proposed wind farm. It may well be that losing 30 per cent of the value of his home is a small price for him to pay for a wind farm of dubious value, but I venture to suggest that there are many others who, like me, could ill afford such a financial catastrophe.If he is that wealthy, then there are many other things he could do with it to help our communities.
So Keith Thompson is in favour of the wind farm in Abbots Bromley because he believes it will help to protect his grandchildren’s future.
I have two children, a four-year-old and a six-year-old and no-one is more concerned about their future than I am. I too want reliable energy supplies for them. The problem is that onshore wind farms will make no contribution to this. The pioneers of wind farms, the Danes, have finally given up on them after 25 years, concluding that they provide no CO2 benefit.
Keith Thompson says ‘they’re scientific people; they are going to have done their homework’. Well, actually, they have not. This proposal is based entirely on computer generated wind data. They have no idea how it will work in practice.
Currently, wind farm developers like Airtricity receive massive subsidies from the Government paid for out of our taxes. Recently, the Audit Commission has deemed these subsidies to be excessive and in two years’ time they will be reduced substantially. This means that the gravy train for developers like Airtricity will be over. If Airtricity weren’t in it just for the massive profits, wouldn’t they wait to get the wind data from the two wind monitoring masts they have recently erected first? Of course not, because that means they will miss out on the subsidy and the project will not be viable.
Yes, they have done their homework, but there is nothing scientific about it.
A wind farm in Abbots Bromley will benefit no-one except the absentee landlord who lives 100 miles away and Airtricity, which stands to make £80m over the next 25 years from this wind farm.
No power stations will be closed because of wind farms. They only operate one day in three and the backup power stations like Rugeley will not only provide for the other two days, but will have to remain on standby when they are working.
I am convinced that there will be no gain from such onshore wind farms. If approved, this will be the most inland of any built so far. Airtricity have so far only built in Scotland and Ireland. Property values will not be the only thing that we will all lose. Our rural landscape and the associated wildlife, including Phil Drabble’s famous heronry, will be other casualties. Keith Thompson believes that villagers will not see these huge turbines. Every resident will see them either directly from their homes or when leaving the village or entering it. Each turbine is the height of Blackpool Tower and they will be seen as far away as Stoke and Stafford, having a detrimental visual impact on the whole area.
I am extremely concerned about the low frequency noise emissions from these turbines. The effect on my children could be catastrophic. This low frequency noise could be felt up to 5km away. This wind farm is 2.5km from the village. The adverse health effects of such noise are well documented and it can devastate people’s lives. Does Mr Thompson really believe this is a small price to pay?
Neither of the proposers of this wind farm have the environment or the communities of Staffordshire’s interest at heart.
Abbots Bromley will no longer be famous for its Horn Dance, but for the wind farm which people may come and look at, but thank their lucky stars they don’t live next to it, like we all will.
David Murray, Radmore Wood, Abbots Bromley.
27 March 2008
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