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Downs wind turbine would flout an act of Parliament

Regarding last week’s Post article about the Downs being a suitable site for a wind turbine (“Bid for 160ft wind turbine on Downs“, March 28), that such a proposal should even be suggested is an example of how commercial interests would exploit one of Bristol’s most treasured open spaces given the opportunity.

To build a structure made entirely of inorganic materials on such a scale anywhere on the Downs would be to fly directly in the face of the Act of Parliament of 1861, which set aside both Clifton and Durdham Downs for the use of the citizens of Bristol.

This act was felt necessary because it was feared the Downs would be lost to the building industry – which goes to show that the chance to make a quick buck was as prevalent in those days as it is now.

Besides the profit motive, the people behind this idea will now, no doubt, trumpet on about global warming – so perhaps they can tell us just what effect this turbine will have on Bristol’s “carbon footprint”? I suggest it won’t make hardly any difference to Clifton’s “footprint”, let alone Bristol’s.

In addition, can the manufacturers of these turbines tell us how these machines will be recycled at the end of their commercial life – considering the problems the world has in dealing with plastics at the moment?

There must be the equivalent of a few trillion disposable cigarette lighters and plastic bags used in their construction.

Finally, while on the subject of the commercialisation of the Downs, did other Post readers note that Bristol Zoo has, once again, applied for a section of the Downs to be used as a car park?

I do hope that if they did, they will object to this planning application, because if that doesn’t flout the original motives behind the 1861 act, I don’t know what does.

The Downs belong to Bristol – let us keep it that way.

Carl Turville,Redland.

Evening Post

1 April 2008