Politicians have allowed wind and solar farms to “industrialise” the British countryside in a misguided attempt to address climate change, the president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England has warned.
Sir Andrew Motion, who is a former Poet Laureate, accused all three main political parties of having a “gung-ho” focus on economic growth that will create “blighted landscapes” in rural areas and leave cities to “rot”.
He attacked the Coalition’s planning reforms, arguing that they made the “priceless national inheritance” of the English countryside more vulnerable than ever.
Sir Andrew also criticised Labour’s plans to boost house-building by giving towns and cities a new “right to grow”, which he said should properly be termed a “right to sprawl”.
Writing in The Daily Mail, he said: “The emerging political consensus, with its gung-ho emphasis on growth, promises a future of urban sprawl and exploitation of the natural world whichever leaders we elect.
“Unless, that is, our politicians think again and recognise the rising public anger about the loss of our green spaces.”
Calling for “green growth” that respects the landscape, he added: “Even farming is implicated in this, with wind and solar farms industrialising the countryside they set out to preserve.”
Sir Andrew made a veiled reference to David Cameron, who has repeatedly talked about the need for Britain to be fit for “the global race”.
The CPRE president wrote: “Driven by a dismaying short-termism, our leaders want to embark on a second industrial revolution in order to compete in ‘the global race’.
“But the difference in scale alone means we can never compete with the largest economies in the world. So let’s stop pretending we can, and instead make the most of our own particular, distinctive attributes and advantages.”
[rest of article available at source]
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