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Could wind turbines take over south Northants?

The front page story on the Brackley and Towcester Advertiser (Is county ‘wind farm capital’, January 27) – rightly reported the growing concern over the scale of wind farm development in Northants.

The biggest issue is the cumulative impact of all these developments with a hugely disproportionate number being planned for the county (despite it being one of the least windy parts of the country). At the present rate it won’t be long before every part of the Northants landscape is studded with turbines. As the CPRE have highlighted, local planning decisions rejecting wind farms – which are made after much detailed consideration of all the issues for and against – are being overturned time and time again by planning inspectors.

These apparently arbitrary and anti-democratic judgements are concerned with meeting national government targets around renewable energy to the detriment of local interests.

We are constantly being told this Government supports localism, but in practice there is little evidence of local voices being heard.

While Helmdon prepares to fight the appeal over Spring Ridge Farm, the Tove Action Group is also strengthening its campaign against the likely plans for eight 126-metre industrial turbines being installed between Alderton and Towcester racecourse. The impact of these giants on the local rural landscape would be devastating. The development would do nothing for the economy and would blight an already depressed housing market.

It is time for the coalition government to change its approach to planning and to revise the subsidies which continue to encourage opportunistic wind farm development regardless of efficiency considerations.

Melanie Henwood, via email