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MPs call on energy firms to end wind farm ‘gold rush’  

Credit:  Hull Daily Mail, www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk 23 September 2011 ~~

East Riding MPs are condemning the race by energy firms to install onshore wind farms.

The most vehement attack comes from Greg Knight, who labels turbines “costly, largely useless and a scar on our beautiful countryside”.

East Yorkshire MP Mr Knight said: “I say ‘no more wind farms in East Yorkshire’. These monstrosities are not saving the planet – they are trashing our countryside.”

Fellow MP Graham Stuart describes the turbine race as a “gold rush” and says no more communities should have turbines forced on them.

The attacks come after plans to build England’s biggest onshore wind farm in the East Riding were scrapped.

The Mail revealed on Saturday Scottish Power was considering putting up to 26 turbines between Hornsea and Skirlaugh.

A week after sending letters out to landowners to test opinion, the company has shelved its plans, saying there was little interest.

But the revelations about what was planned have sparked fresh debate about the future of onshore turbines.

Mr Knight said: “If we must have more wind energy then any increase in capacity should now be generated offshore or elsewhere.

Energy companies should be required to give priority to exploring offshore wind farms and we should also be exploring the greater use of wave power.

“Profit-seeking energy companies prefer onshore wind turbines because the investment involved is significantly lower than installing turbines offshore.”

Mr Stuart, the MP for Beverley and Holderness, said: “These proposals are coming in like some sort of gold rush by companies wanting to steamroll people.

“I have no objection in principal to onshore wind farms. The country has a renewables strategy and East Yorkshire has to play its part.

“But we have more than played our part. We’ve executed our share for 2020 and beyond.”

Mr Stuart feels decisions about wind farm applications should be dealt with by East Riding Council rather than by “remote Government inspectors”.

He believes energy companies should be encouraged to compensate communities affected by developments.

He said: “If there are benefits that can be provided, whether that’s cheaper energy costs or improved local services I think that’s reasonable.”

The comments will be welcomed by the No To Wolds Wind Farm Group, which has an online petition to have the region designated an official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The status would protect it from excessive development.

Visit www.southdalewindfarm.co.uk to find out more about the petition.

Source:  Hull Daily Mail, www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk 23 September 2011

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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