Impact on Economy and UK
A family who live in the shadow of a wind farm in Lincolnshire say they have "lost everything" just because of the noise it makes.
Farmer Julian Davis, his wife Jane and their teenage daughter have already had to rent a separate house to sleep in because they are kept awake by the sound of the eight turbines.
They claim their home, formerly worth £170,000, cannot be sold because it is so blighted by noise pollution but they may abandon it anyway.
LONDON (Reuters) - "Eco-friendly" is the buzz-word of the 21st century, and the environmental conscience is increasingly determining decisions on the home front.
A growing trend for ecological homes epitomises the modern zeitgeist -- and "green" homes are set to account for a growing proportion of the housing stock.
The government has promised to make all new homes zero-carbon by 2016, and those worth up to 500,000 pounds will be exempt from stamp duty until 2012.
Consumers' concern over the future of the environment is yet to reach an apogee, but Britons are already revamping their homes with environmentally friendly features.
More than 100,000 households have installed renewable energy appliances -- wind turbines and solar panels -- among them celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and Conservative Party leader David Cameron, who notoriously fell foul of planning rules after his wind turbine was erected in the wrong place.
That figure is expected to balloon to 1.3 million by 2020.
Such measures are environmentally sound, but are they economically so?
Scottish tourism must go green, according to industry leaders, with less dependence on short-haul flights into Scottish airports and protection of scenic areas against planned wind farms.
They warned yesterday that the rapid growth in visitor numbers could be harmed if the wilderness was spoiled by power-grid pylons or turbines, including the prospect of offshore wind farms threatening to spoil sea views.
“Tourism-fragile zones” are being proposed in rural visitor honeypots, where there would be a block on wind farms, at least until a national review of their expansion.
THE local tourism board for Northumberland has come out strongly against windfarm development which could impact on Northumberland as a top holiday destination and has called for an urgent independent study.
The plea from Northumberland Tourism comes in the wake of a rush of renewable energy applications across the county. There are currently eight 'live' applications with another 17 in the pipeline – totalling nearly 300 turbines.
Broadcaster and author Eric Robson has spoken out against plans to build a windfarm on fells alongside the M6 at Shap.
The Cumbrian, who chairs Cumbria Tourism, has become a patron of Community Opposed to Shap Turbines (COST).
He said the national view of VisitScotland, on windfarms, was summed up by the following statement.
"VisitScotland understands and supports the drive for renewable energy and recognises the potential of Scotland's vast resource. As a consequence, VisitScotland is not against the principle of windfarm development.
"Research carried out by an independent consultancy was inconclusive and reflected a split in visitor opinion between those strongly against windfarm development of any kind and those who said in some areas it actually enhanced what was otherwise a bleak and unattractive landscape.
"However, VisitScotland is becoming increasingly concerned over the proliferation of speculative development proposals, many of them in areas of high landscape or scenic value or in locations which directly impact on tourism operations or activity.
"The local area network offices are aware of this concern and are keeping a close eye on development proposals affecting their areas.
"In cases where it is clear that in VisitScotland's opinion tourism will be affected in a negative manner, representations will be made through the formal planning process.
"VisitScotland will, however, not get involved in open public debate in the media prior to applications being formally submitted.
At the pre-inquiry a spokesperson for Welshpool Town Council will argue that ‘public opinion' should be taken into account, as this is not the case as things stand at present.
The Mayor of Welshpool, Cllr John Meredith, said: "With such strong public feelings surrounding the proposals, surely it cannot be ignored?"
DONALD Trump, the American billionaire, has forced the relocation of a wind farm that he claimed would blight his planned golf course in Aberdeenshire.
He wrote to the First Minister at the beginning of September, saying the turbines were "disastrous and environmentally irresponsible", and left an "ugly cloud hanging over the future of the great Scottish coastline. ...People do not want to travel from all over the world to go to Scotland in order to stare out at big, ugly structures."
The businessman, whose mother was born on Lewis, warned his championship course, five-star hotel, golf academy and 500 holiday homes would be scrapped unless proposals for a nearby offshore wind farm were abandoned.
Work on the development in Menie, Aberdeenshire, has been put on hold until a decision is made on an offshore wind farm proposal near the site.
The postponement was announced last week and the Trump Organisation said any future work, including the building of a hotel, would now depend on the decision made by the Scottish Government regarding the application for the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC).
The economic growth of the region would be affected if a windfarm was built, according to a former Government economist.
The evidence was heard on the 20th day of the Humberhead Levels Windfarm Inquiry into two proposed windfarms in northern Lincolnshire.The submission was given by Stephen Nicol, managing director of Regeneris Consulting - a specialist economic and regeneration consultancy - on behalf of Doncaster Sheffield Robin Hood Airport.
His summary was based on evidence by Barry Hawkins, a former air traffic controller, which demonstrated the number of aircraft which the airport could handle would be reduced.
According to Mr Hawkins, the radar systems would be affected by ‘clutter’ caused by the 34 windturbines proposed by Renewable Energy Systems (RES) between Keadby and Crowle.
Aircraft approaching from the east of the airport would be masked by the clutter, meaning only one could pass through the windfarm site at any time - consequently reducing the volume of traffic the airport could handle.
This, explained Mr Nicol would affect the planned growth of the airport.
Reading from his summary of proofs of evidence, Mr Nicol said: “Robin Hood Airport has, as yet, far from reached its full economic potential.
Coutryside guardians yesterday echoed fears that the drive to generate green energy was threatening serious harm to Northumberland's vital tourism industry.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England says the potential influx of hundreds of huge wind turbines would damage the county's natural assets and hamper its ability to attract more visitors and their spending power.
CAMPAIGNERS against plans for a new wind farm between Bagthorpe, Barmer and Syderstone have been told of the horrific impact turbines can have on village life.
A packed public meeting in Bircham Newton heard from a number of guest speakers who gave grave warnings about the health impact, noise disturbances and threat to wildlife which could stem from the five turbines earmarked for the villages.
Included among the speakers was Jane Davis, of Deeping St Nicholas, Lincolnshire, who described the persistent noise problems she has faced from a wind farm near her home.
She also spoke of how the value of her property has plummeted since the development was completed.
Syderstone resident Reg Thompson, a member of the action group formed to oppose the plans, said: "People are very concerned about this.
"There are moves being made in Europe to ban wind farms that are within two kilometres of housing and we hope that becomes legislation because every house in Syderstone falls within that radius.
"People are very upset. We have seen housing deals fall through as people no longer want to move here.
Tourism chiefs in Northumberland fear the rush to erect hundreds of giant wind turbines poses a serious threat to the county's natural beauty and could drive away visitors - and their money.
Northumberland Tourism - the agency set up this year to promote the county's visitor industry - is the latest player to enter the debate over wind farms.
Windfarm objectors yesterday told a planning inquiry into two proposed developments in a picturesque area of central Sutherland that the schemes would have a severe adverse impact on tourism.
They claim the 46 turbines would destroy the unspoilt landscape, which they claim is the main tourist attraction in the economically fragile area.
Set eight miles off the coast of Shoreham, it would form a landmark feature visible between Worthing and Brighton, with plans for between 150-195 turbines at the core of its design.
According to the firm, the key to its proposals lie in utilising new technology which would enable turbines to be active more than 90 per cent of the time.