Hull Daily Mail | 1 November 2012 | www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk
Campaigners in the East Riding have welcomed comments by a senior minister who claims the country has enough onshore wind turbines.
Tory Energy Minister John Hayes claims turbines have been “peppered around the country” with no regard for local opinion.
A battle has been raging for the past few years in the East Riding over the proliferation of wind farm applications.
There have also been a growing number of single turbine applications as farmers try to cash in on Government subsidies.
Bempton resident David Hinde has been campaigning against the number of turbines springing up in the Wolds.
He said: “We feel our views have been endorsed. The proliferation is now causing problems for the Ministry of Defence radar at Staxton.
“The minister is now saying what the campaign groups have been insisting for the past 18 months.
“This is damaging our green and pleasant land.
“We have been making our voices heard and now the minister is echoing our concerns.
“I think everyone who is concerned about the countryside and managing our heritage will be delighted with these comments, which signal the end of the turbine gravy train.”
East Riding Council lost six public inquiries in a row after refusing planning permission for wind farm applications.
Each time the planning inspector found in favour of the developer, citing the national need for green energy. The results left the council feeling undermined.
Mr Hinde said: “The important thing is that recent inquiry decisions have gone against the developers and are now giving more importance to the value of the landscape.
“The tide is turning and now we are getting something from the minister himself.”
Some 4,000 turbines are due to be built across the UK by 2020 – which Mr Hayes told the two newspapers was sufficient to meet the Government’s environmental targets.
In the East Riding alone, there are 44 developments with turbines above 50m in height either built, under construction or proposed.
There are a further 131 under 50m in height.
Mr Hayes said: “We can no longer have wind turbines imposed on communities. I can’t single-handedly build a new Jerusalem but I can protect our green and pleasant land.”
But Energy Secretary Ed Davey has distanced himself from the comments
He said: “There has been no change to Government policy on renewable energy, as collectively agreed by the coalition Cabinet.
“We set out in the Renewable Energy Roadmap in July 2011 how we expect to reach our target of getting 30 per cent of all UK electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
“We’ve put in place support to bring on growth in new industries to deploy the technologies needed to diversify our energy mix in the most cost-effective way.
“There are no targets – or caps – for individual renewable technologies such as onshore wind.
“What we’re currently consulting on are ways of making sure local communities feel the benefit of hosting wind farms and whether our understanding of future costs is accurate.
“Onshore wind is one of the cheapest renewables, which is why we’ve been able to cut the subsidy. It has an important role to play in our energy future.”
URL to article: https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/11/01/minister-has-echoed-our-wind-farm-fears/