Letters written by Birmingham pupils in support of wind turbines as part of a “persuasive writing” exercise are to be used by a firm that lobbies local authorities on behalf of companies which want to put them up.
Green Peninsula – a renewable energy advisory and project management company based in Cornwall – visited Bournville Junior School last week to run the workshop.
It plans to use letters written by the youngsters when applying for planning permission on behalf of its clients, which include major supermarket chains.
The firm’s chief executive officer Adrian Scholtz denied the company was cynically exploiting the youngsters in order to help push through planning applications for wind farms in the face of local opposition.
“What we are doing is trying to find out the enthusiasm of the children and make local authorities aware of that. There is enough anti-wind turbine people out there.
“If children are for these things and are making up their own mind then all we are doing is trying to promote that as well.”
Mr Scholtz said children were generally positive about renewable energy sources and it was important their views were heard.
Bournville Junior was chosen because Mr Scholtz’s son attends the school.
“We have a corporate responsibility policy, which involves working with a number of schools to build awareness of renewable energy, in particular wind turbines, and potentially combining this with the children’s curricular activities.
“As part of our presentation, we are encouraging the children to make up their own minds as to whether they are for or against wind turbines, and write a letter explaining why.
“The outputs will be collated and may be sent to planning authorities, to be considered in determining real planning applications for wind projects.”
by Shahid Naqvi, Education Correspondent
9 June 2008
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