March 10, 2012

Wind farm debate continues to rage

Skegness Standard, 10 March 2012

A tougher stance on wind farms has been proposed by coastal councillors to protect the region’s ‘historic and natural environment’

Lincolnshire County Council’s Environmental Scrutiny Committee has recommended a revised position on wind farm applications, in the light of national studies on the impact such developments have on the landscape.

Committee chairman Coun Colin Davie said: “We want to raise the bar even higher for any company wishing to come and construct wind farms in the county, so they fully consider whether this is the best place for them.

“This is about making sure any developments take place in the right location and do not harm the environment for future generations.”

The committee has expressed concerns on the impact such developments have on environmental projects such as the Lincolnshire Coastal Country Park and the views of heritage sites such as Lincoln Cathedral.

Substantial bonds, payable up front, have also been recommended to mitigate against the perceived ‘long term damage to roads caused by the transportation of turbines.’

Coun Davie also believes there should be ‘stringent mechanisms’ put in place to ensure wind farms are decommissioned properly when they reach the end of their viable life.

Similar concerns had been raised by East Lindsey District Councillors at a full council meeting last Wednesday.

Coun Stuart Watson outlined fears that tourism was being put at risk by the ‘creeping industrialisation’ of turbines which damaged the ‘breathtaking beauty’ of the district’s landscape.

His sentiments were echoed by Coun Robert Palmer who described wind farms as ‘eyesores which destroy the natural countryside and make use of valuable agricultural land.’

However a stout defence of onshore wind farms was made by Coun Mark Anderson who said he did not find them ‘obtrusive’ and believed they should be supported for their green credentials.

“Instead of relying on fossil fuels that poison the planet, we should seek to secure the future of our grandchildren by making use of renewable forms of energy,” he said.

Similar sentiments were expressed by his Labour colleague, Coun Laura Stephenson who said she would prefer to live beside a wind farm than a nuclear power station.

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