Anti-windfarm campaigners in Cumbria have welcomed comments made by a Tory energy minister over the “peppering” of windfarms across the countryside.
John Hayes said today that “enough is enough” and that the spread of turbines “seems extraordinary” and they should no longer be “imposed on communities”.
Allison Stamper was part of the Against Newlands Windfarm campaign which fought plans by Bolderstone Innovative Energy for a 328ft wind turbine being built in Cumwhinton.
She welcomed the minister’s comments.
She said: “They should take the wishes of local residents into consideration. If windfarms are erected, then we are the ones who have to live with them 24/7.”
The intervention will delight scores of Conservative MPs who have been urging David Cameron to block further expansion of onshore windfarms, but infuriate Liberal Democrats.
Mr Hayes, who was appointed to the brief in last month’s reshuffle, is believed to support a moratorium on new onshore windfarms.
Mr Hayes, quoted in a national newspaper, said: “We can no longer have wind turbines imposed on communities.
“We have issued a call for evidence on wind about cost but also community buy-in.
“We need to understand communities’ genuine desires.”
He insisted only a minority of proposed wind turbines were needed to meet green targets set by the Government.
“If you look at what has been built, what has consent and what is in the planning system, much of it will not get through and will be rejected. Even if a minority of what’s in the system is built, we are going to reach our 2020 target,” Mr Hayes said. “I’m saying enough is enough.”
The minister said new research on wind turbines would make a far wider assessment of their impact on the rural landscape and property prices.
“It seems extraordinary to have allowed them to be peppered around the country without due regard for the interests of the local community or their wishes,” he said.
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