Woking Borough Council (WBC) has rejected a proposal to commission a study into the benefits of wind turbines, despite the authority priding itself on its energy efficiency.
At a meeting on Thursday councillors voted against a motion to commission a detailed study with a view to installing large scale wind turbines at a suitable site or sites in the borough by 2015/16.
The motion, put forward by Cllr Ken Howard, first went before the executive on Thursday October 18 where a recommendation was made to the council that it not be supported.
The motion states that in places such as Denmark, Spain and southern Germany where wind conditions are similar to southern England, wind turbines are making a ‘significant contribution to local and sustainable low carbon energy’.
Cllr Howard wrote: “I consider that it is now time for the council to take this seriously and bring forward proposals to meet part of its climate change strategy objectives for sustainable and renewable energy in the borough which will also contribute to the wider sustainability goals of CO2 reduction both in Woking and Surrey.”
Speaking at the executive meeting Cllr Beryl Hunwicks said: “The idea of wind power was kicked into the long grass [a few years ago].
“I have seen it abroad and in this country where it works very well but I think we have looked at this and thought about it very carefully.
“The commission of a study should not be supported. The trouble is the devil is in the detail.
“I am not sure residents would want wind farms in the middle of Goldsworth Park or any areas.
“I know there are possible sites on the edge of the borough but I think it is fine and popular when people talk about it with regard to shoreline developments but I think when it comes down to having it in my backyard people are not too happy.”
At the WBC meeting last week the motion was debated and Cllr Howard added: “Climate change is not something that is going away.”
He explained the motion is just asking for a study.
Cllr Ian Eastwood said: “We are not talking about where, we are talking about whether they would be an advantage to the borough.”
The motion was lost when 19 voted against and 14 members voted in favour. The WBC website states that it is tackling issues such as global warming and depletion of natural resources in the area, and from an environmental perspective the borough council is widely recognised as being the ‘most energy efficient local authority in the country’.
Energy minister John Hayes signalled government policy may be moving away from wind farms as a source of green energy.
He was quoted this week as saying ‘enough is enough’.
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