February 16, 2012
Opinions, Wales

An ill wind blows nobody good

By Roy Jones, Morning Star, www.morningstaronline.co.uk 16 February 2012

Open any local newspaper in Wales these days and you’re likely to find a report on a protest against proposals to blight the landscape with hundreds more wind turbines.

They’re spreading like a rash – in people’s gardens, farmers’ fields and mountains let to transnational corporations.

They spring up across precious countryside from Pembrokeshire to the south Wales valleys, from Monmouth over the wildernesses of mid-Wales and the north.

Curbing their numbers or trying to assess the havoc wreaked is hampered by the total shambles of planning.

Power is divided between local councils, the Welsh Assembly and the British government in Westminster.

It’s a total mess with few ground rules. Planning permission granted for one turbine often allows for more. A Welsh Assembly plan limiting the number of sites means that the available sites become overloaded.

And Wales’s government is denied any power over some sites where wind-farm plans could potentially do huge damage, because authority over them lies in Westminster.

The Daily Post North Wales reported last week on “fears of the possible industrialisation of north Wales’s scenic countryside with 100 turbines set to be built in the coming months.”

It’s an absolute horror story.

It continues: “Applications to erect new giant turbines are coming in thick and fast on Anglesey.

“The majority of bids are not for large-scale wind farms but for up to three turbines.

“Forty requests for planning permission have been made in the last six months – including several for turbines standing over 330 feet.”

The report notes that the number of applications has caused alarm among Anglesey residents, many of whom fear their views will disappear.

Pressure group Anglesey Against Wind Turbines member Kate Barker said: “I strongly feel we need to adopt the one-and-a-quarter-mile setback from dwellings already adopted by many countries worldwide to protect people from harm.”

She called for an independent study to be done on the “devastating effect” that “industrial turbinisation” will have on tourism.

Anglesey MP Albert Owen, while a supporter of wind and wave energy, has admitted: “I think planning applications should be put on hold until we’ve had proper engagement on this.”


URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/02/16/an-ill-wind-blows-nobody-good/