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Locals powerless against the wind-power lobby  

Credit:  The Independent, www.independent.co.uk 11 May 2012 ~~

Terence Blacker’s experiences and complaints are echoed throughout many other rural communities whose lives have been blighted, or are under threat, from the erection of wind turbines (“The public has bought the myths of the vast wind energy industry”, 1 May).

Local people around here are fighting a planning application to build four 125m-tall wind turbines (bigger than the London Eye) less than a mile from the rural hamlet of Hollingdon and the villages of Soulbury and Stoke Hammond in Buckinghamshire. As with Mr Blacker’s experience, there has been absolutely no consultation by the developer with residents and the apparent arrogance of these energy firms towards the local population simply beggars belief.

We have also had a group calling themselves Yes2Wind suddenly appear with their stall in our high streets. Their stall has an amateur look and feel to it, but is showcased by a well-thought-out and designed banner with a logo covered in green flashes and lettering, seemingly cleverly designed to give the appearance they are an independent green group.

However, Yes2Wind are not a green group by any stretch of the imagination, as they are owned and run by company called Pendragon PR, which in turn has been directly employed by the large energy companies to go around the country and gather support for their planning applications.

The Yes2Wind people manning their stall don’t admit this unless challenged, or indeed have it written anywhere on their literature or documentation, that they are being directly employed and paid by the developer to gather signatures. Mr Blacker is right; the process is skewed from the start, with energy companies employing every underhand tactic they can come up with. But what disturbs me more than anything is the way local democracy from the parish councils upwards can overwhelmingly oppose such applications, often with very valid reasons, yet our democracy is then steamrollered by a planning inspector, leaving little, if any, right to appeal.

Michael W Cook

Soulbury, Buckinghamshire

Source:  The Independent, www.independent.co.uk 11 May 2012

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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