November 19, 2012

Bryan Ferry warns wind farms ‘scarring’ British countryside

By Telegraph Reporters | 18 November 2012 |

Bryan Ferry, the British rock star, has hit out at wind farms that are spoiling Britain’s countryside, warning that “enough is enough”.

In an outspoken attack, the 67 year-old, said he was left angry at the “scarring” of “breathtaking” views after he took a flight over Yorkshire.

“I absolutely hate them,” said the father-of-four adult children, whose current wife Amanda is 36 years his junior.

“I was in a plane a while ago and I was flying over Yorkshire.

“It is possibly one of the most beautiful landscapes in this country and I looked down from the window and all you could see were wind farms scarring this gorgeous, breathtaking countryside. Enough is enough, when is this going to stop?”

His comments in the Mail on Sunday’s Live magazine came amid a new debate over the role of wind farms in Britain.

Last week a Conservative minister defied Liberal Democrat Energy secretary Ed Davey to insist no more onshore wind farms would be built beyond those already planned.

Energy Minister John Hayes said it was “job done” in terms of the number of onshore wind farms required to hit European Union renewable energy targets.

Asked on Channel Four News whether more onshore wind farms were needed, Mr Hayes said: “With respect of what’s built, with what’s consented and with a small proportion of what’s in the planning system, we will have reached our ambition in respect of the renewables’ target – end of story.”

Almost 4,000 turbines are scheduled to be built across Britain in the coming years.

Prime Minister David Cameron had appeared to back Mr Hayes when he was careful only to couch support for wind farms in terms of wind turbines sited off the coast of Britain and not on the mainland UK.

Several senior Tories, including Owen Paterson, the new Environment Secretary, believe wind farm “blight” has not been properly considered before allowing development.

Mr Paterson will formally respond to a government review on the community benefit of wind farms shortly and is expected to warn about their impact on rural areas.

Earlier this year, more than 100 Conservative MPs urged David Cameron to block the further expansion of onshore wind power.

Also last week George Osborne’s father-in-law, Lord Howell of Guildford, said the Chancellor was the driving force behind an apparent policy shift against onshore wind farms.

The peer, a Government minister until September’s reshuffle, was secretly videoed by green campaigners suggesting that Mr Osborne was behind the about-turn.

Eco-campaigners have been alarmed by an apparent policy shift, with sceptic Tory ministers like Environment secretary Owen Paterson and energy minister John Hayes appointed to key positions in the Government.

Lord Howell, the father of Mr Osborne’s wife Frances, was a foreign office minister until September’s reshuffle and is an adviser to foreign secretary William Hague.

A spokesman for Mr Osborne said: “The Chancellor supports Government policy which has helped secure record investment into the UK energy infrastructure.”

Mr Lilley said he was merely repeating to the undercover film-maker what he had read in the newspapers. He added: “I have never discussed the Climate Change Act or wind farms with George Osborne or any of his advisers.”

Lord Howell later said: “I do not discuss these issues, and have not discussed them, with the Chancellor – whose views are also well known and publicly stated.

“Why do Greenpeace have to do secret filming. Why can’t they discuss these important public issues openly?”

The Government is finalising a new energy bill which will replace existing subsidies in 2017, and add incentives for nuclear power stations.

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