Impact on Landscape and Tourism
Thirteen giant wind turbines will soon be towering over valley homes and the Brecon Beacons National Park. Neath Port Talbot Council has approved controversial plans for a wind farm at Maesgwyn, between Banwen and Glynneath. ...There were 45 objections sent in by residents, and concerns were also raised at public meetings, as well as by ward councillors.
The main source of grievance was the impact the turbines would have on the area's countryside, as well as on tourism.
THE region's top planners have warned wind farms could "significantly change the landscape" of Northumberland - as Berwick Council prepares to approve 10 125m turbines.
Councils have been told by the North-East Assembly that the "gentle hills of Northumberland" simply cannot accommodate the number of turbines originally planned for the region.
Plans to build 10 turbines at Moorsyde were yesterday scaled back to seven as developer Your Energy bowed to growing demands for planners to consider the overall impact of any application.
"Tourism is vitally important to this area. The impact these monstrous structures will have on our landscape could deter visitors.
"If we do not object to these developments the whole of west Cumbria could soon be covered in turbines.
"These will be visible from Broughton, Brigham and the surrounding area - they will not just effect the immediate area around Tallentire.
"Please be prepared to act in the coming weeks to object to this proposal. The numbers of objectors do count."
ONE of the North-East's biggest visitor attractions is to lead the fight against plans for a wind farm in Northumberland.
And the Duchess of Northumberland's Alnwick Garden will be backed by other tourism favourites, including the Chillingham Wild Cattle park and possibly Alnwick Castle - the home she shares with the Duke of Northumberland. ...
"The garden is concerned that the sheer scale of the development may discourage visitors to the Alnwick area - these visitors freely express the pleasure they feel when enjoying the fantastic natural and historic landscapes of Northumberland together with the coastal area of natural beauty and the Northumberland National Park."
... although the Government encouraged wind energy developments to reduce green house gas emissions sensitive areas would be protected. "A special set of planning guidelines for wind energy developments has been introduced to ensure wind farms do not impact negatively on the environment,'' he said.
"They exclude wind energy developments from Wilsons Promontory, the Grampians, the Great Ocean Road and other environmentally sensitive areas.''
The ferocity of local opinions against the project has raised questions about Virginia's future as a wind-energy producer, with surrounding counties unsure about opening their mountaintops to investors, too.
The debate also comes as entrepreneurs in other states are rushing to erect turbines, take advantage of federal tax credits and create electricity without the emissions linked to global warming.
Major players in the Jordanville Wind Farm controversy were left confused and disappointed following last week's decision by the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) to approve the proposal with stipulations.
Landowners, taxpayers and members of the Friends of Renewable Energy (FORE) were outraged with the decision to cut 19 turbines from the proposal, and also voiced concerns with the wording of the decision.
Mr Guy said while the Liberal Party supported wind farms, there was significant community opposition to the proposal. "The Liberal Party is supportive of wind energy in areas with broad community support and not major destruction of environmental or aesthetic grounds," Mr Guy said. "We are talking about a proposal in Spa Country Australia, one of our biggest tourist attractions and this is clearly going to impact on that area - the Minister for Planning needs to consider that."
Ann and Hedley Lamb have spent what seems to be a lifetime developing Barmoor Country Park near Lowick in Northumberland.
Now with 100 caravan pitches, it is one of 22 such parks in Berwick borough alone, welcoming thousands of visitors virtually year-round. Bizarrely, strict planning guidelines insist that caravans should be screened from view but a clutch of proposed wind turbines barely a mile up the hill over Barmoor will be highly visible for dozens of miles around - with no such restrictions.
"We've planted 8,000 trees to screen the caravans," says Ann. "It's for the planning rules, but it's also good for the wildlife and good for the local environment. I daren't even think about how this will affect our business. The landscape with its historic value is the essence of the place; you're going to kill the golden goose. We need a little bit of common sense.
The landscape of Shetland could be changed forever if the giant windfarm project goes ahead, those in the tourism industry told representatives from Viking Energy at a meeting on Wednesday.
Members of Shetland Tourism Association, including accommodation providers and tour operators, expressed concern about the size of the proposed development, which could see as many a 192 turbines being erected in the central and north-east mainland.
They feared the visual impact of the windfarm would deter tourists, although this was disputed by David Thomson of Viking Energy who produced the results of surveys carried out in other parts of the UK that windfarms made no difference.
A suggestion was made to give questionnaires on the subject for tour guides to give to tourists.
Campaigners have won their battle to overturn plans for a five-turbine windfarm on the unspoiled coastline of the Solway Firth.
Around 1,000 villagers, visitors and business owners from Allonby and the surrounding area sent letters of objection to Allerdale Council when Nuon Renewables submitted plans to build the 102m turbines at Brownrigg Hall Farm, just outside Allonby.
Today councillors on the Allerdale development panel rejected the plans on the grounds the windfarm would have a detrimental visual impact in the landscape and harm tourism in the area.
Plans for a five-turbine windfarm near Allonby are set to be turned down.
Energy firm Nuon Renewables wants to erect the 102-metre turbines, on land next to Brownrigg Hall Farm.
The windfarm would be on the Solway coastal plain, around 1.9km inland from Allonby, and close to the Hadrian's Wall World Heritage Site.
But local parish councils, Cumbria Tourism and the county council, as well as many local people, objected to the plans because of the potential impact on wildlife, the landscape and tourism.
A citizens' group opposed to the location of massive wind-energy plant in northern Potter County is pressuring Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell to stop the plan.
However, with Gov. Rendell pushing for renewable energy projects in Pennsylvania, the "Save God's Country" (SGC) group could face an uphill struggle.
An SGC spokesman said the location of wind turbines in the region is at odds with the governor's strong support for the Pennsylvania Wilds tourist promotion plan. "Are hundreds of industrial wind turbines something that will tempt people to visit the Pennsylvania Wilds?" asked Dan Howe. "It seems incongruous, and yet this is what is happening in Potter, Cameron, McKean, Lycoming and Tioga counties, all designated as the Pennsylvania Wilds."
Controversial plans for a windfarm near a country park have been ruled out.
A proposal to build 19 turbines - each around 300ft high - in Kelburn Estate, near Largs in Ayrshire, has been rejected in the face of major opposition.
Planning chiefs said the windfarm posed a threat to the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park environment and the tourism industry.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the adventurer and outdoor campaigner, has launched a scathing attack on the Scottish executive’s renewable energy policy, claiming the country’s landscape is being ruined by wind turbines.
Fiennes, a world-renowned explorer and mountaineer, accused ministers of creating a blight across much of rural Scotland and of putting the country’s tourism industry at risk.
He said rural communities were threatened with destruction and urged Jack McConnell, the first minister, to scrap his renewables target until other methods of green energy generation are found.
Nimby-ism (Notin My Back) is almost understandable when talking about a gas pipeline or an ugly McMansion. But when it comes to environmentally friendly, quiet and- some say- beautiful windmills, an astonishing number of people are saying "no". Melanie Wold asks, "Why? Is it all the dead seagulls?"
Editor's Note: This article appeared in the October 2006 issue of Shattered Magazine. The pdf version is available via the link below.
“The MCofS originally objected to the proposed Beauly to Denny transmission line on grounds of lack of evidence of need for the line, the devastating impact it would have on landscape, and as a consequence of that the effect it would have on Scotland’s tourism industry.”
“The proposed string of pylon towers over 200 feet high is inextricably linked to the large number of wind farm proposals currently in the planning and approval pipeline, which if approved by the Scottish Executive, would devastate the hitherto unspoilt scenic upland landscape of Scotland for generations.”
Opposition to two Perthshire wind farms has gained the support of MSP Murdo Fraser.
The Tory politician, who represents Mid-Scotland and Fife, yesterday told a public inquiry at Amulree village hall he backs Perth and Kinross Council’s rejection of the application by GreenPower to build 68 turbines at Griffin Forest, near Dunkeld, and also a plan to build 27 turbines at Calliacher, near Aberfeldy.
He said, “The tourism industry throughout Perthshire accounts for about 15% of all employment in the area. When tourism comprises such a large proportion of employment, it can be deemed as not only very important, but essential.
“Whilst the contractors are to be commended for reducing the proposed total number of turbines from 128…this is still 95 too many on our rural landscape.
Seven Grant County residents have filed suit to try to block construction of 200 giant wind turbines proposed near their homes.
Jerome E. Burch and six other residents sued developers of the $150 million Mount Storm wind project.
In their 14-page complaint, the residents allege that the NedPower Mount Storm LLC project will be a “nuisance” and “an eyesore” that creates excess noise and kills birds and bats.
The suit also alleges that the project will generate little power but receive lucrative federal and state tax breaks.
CAMPAIGNERS fighting proposals to build a wind farm on the outskirts of Penicuik have stepped up their battle against the plans by launching a protest website.