Transparency is one of those words loved by politicians of all parties.
It’s often used to show how open and accountable the democratic process is when, in reality, it’s often as clear as mud.
Take, for example, the planning system.
When someone submits a planning application to build something, the least you might expect is to be able to find out who that someone actually is.
It’s a question currently troubling residents opposing plans to build a wind turbine near Willerby.
The application has been made by York planning and environmental consultants Arcus Consultancy Services Ltd.
According to accompanying paperwork submitted to East Riding Council, Arcus has lodged the application on behalf of a company called Lantanier Ireland Ltd.
That name features on every page of the application’s main supporting statement.
Another agent for Lantanier Ireland Ltd is listed as Aeolus Renewable Energy Ltd, which has an address in Otley, near Leeds.
However, according to the Companies Registration Office in Ireland, Lantanier Ireland Ltd is not registered in Ireland.
Nor is it registered as a company in England either.
Records at Companies House do show there is a Lantanier UK Ltd registered at an address care of another company called Wind Energy Direct Ltd, which is based in Houghton Le Spring, near Durham.
To complicate matters even further, there is no Companies House record of any firm called Wind Energy Direct Ltd being registered at that address.
Instead, the Irish Companies Registration Office lists a company called Wind Energy Direct Ltd as being registered at an address in Limerick.
Also registered with the Irish authorities at the same address is a company called Lantanier Ltd.
Publicly available company records in both the UK and Ireland list Dominic Costello and John Cusask as directors of both Lantanier UK Ltd and Wind Energy Direct Ltd.
However, the puzzle doesn’t quite end there.
Residents in WIllerby who have been following this complex paper trail have also unearthed details of a sole trader called Wind Energy Direct based at an address in Belfast.
That business has no available financial information in the public domain and has only one employee, who is not named.
They have also discovered a company with a similar name to Aeolus Renewable Energy Ltd, the agents involved in the Willerby scheme.
Aeolus Renewable Energy Private Ltd is registered at an address in New Delhi, India.
So far, Arcus Consultancy Services has yet to answer my simple question: who is actually behind the Willerby wind turbine?
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