Library filed under Impact on Landscape from Europe
The Scottish Government has ruled out a change in law which would have protected some of the country's most picturesque areas from a "barrage" of wind farm applications. Politicians including Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser had demanded the introduction of a law which would have created "no go" areas for wind farm developments. He insists the legislation would have protected some of Scotland's most beautiful areas, including huge swathes of rural Perthshire in his constituency. ..."We certainly need to have better and stronger guidelines or the current barrage of wind farm applications in areas such Perthshire will continue.
He told the Lynn News: "The intention is to protect the unusual and singular view of places like The Fens and also the lush and picturesque landscape of North West Norfolk. "The Fens is a place internationally recognised as an area of flat landscape where rainbows can be seen end to end and both sound and vision can be measured in miles rather than yards. "The rest of North West Norfolk is also a rare and beautiful place and I am attempting to protect it for future generations by limiting the height of any structure built in open countryside to a very generous 246 feet - which seems to be more than reasonable."
A Wind farm protest group has accused Your Energy of failing to properly assess the visual impacts of its proposed Moorsyde scheme. Moorsyde Action Group (MAG) says the photomontages to illustrate the seven 360 feet high turbines planned between Ancroft North Moor and Duddo are inadequate and misleading. "We have been forced to produce artist's impressions of the turbines from nearby settlements such as Ancroft South Moor because Your Energy Ltd (YEL) have failed to provide them," said a MAG spokesman. ...The county archaeologist is also understood to have asked that impacts on nearby Duddo Church and Duddo Tower should be taken into account. MAG say that Your Energy have failed to provide any photomontages that illustrate the visual impacts on these sites even though the company's own environmental statement admits that the landscape within 3km would be 'substantially' altered and that turbines would be 'visually dominant' within that distance, resulting in impacts of 'major significance'.
Plans for the UK's largest onshore wind farm on the Shetlands have come under fierce opposition from protesters, four years after the idea was proposed. A planning application for around 155 wind turbines, each up to 145 metres from blade to tip, is due to be submitted to councillors this summer. ...Opponents claim it will damage a landscape little changed since the last minor Ice Age. They are concerned that the turbines will be visible from almost every vantage point on the islands and beyond. They also fear that, once the sub-sea cable is installed, other developers will want to make use of every hillside in Shetland, turning it from an island community into little more than an offshore UK wind factory.
Plans to land a 200 mile long power cable to export power from Shetland's proposed windfarm have been condemned by a local fish grower as "a double whammy" to his business. Yesterday (Thursday) it emerged that Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission Ltd (SHETL) plan to land the interconnector cable in scenic Weisdale Voe, on Shetland's west side, after eliminating a shortlist of five other landing sites. Under the plans, the cable will hook up to the 160 turbine windfarm being planned by community-owned Viking Energy and SHETL's parent company Scottish & Southern Energy at a convertor station in the Kergord valley.
Wales is in danger of being smothered "in a blanket of wind turbines," says the Conservatives assembly environment spokesman. Darren Millar AM told delegates at the Welsh party's conference in Llandudno that the assembly government had a "blind obsession" with wind power. Mr Millar said the Conservatives were not against wind energy, only large scale windfarms. He said the current policy was leading to a "massive democratic deficit". Mr Millar said the decisions of local councillors were being ignored and the views of local communities disregarded.
The Scottish Wild Land Group said the number of wind farms proposed for the Lammermuirs risked losing their character, while the John Muir Trust described the lack of a strategic plan to ensure the farms were located in the most sensible places as "one of the biggest mistakes" of the previous Scottish Executive administration. Mr Havers, 56, said: "My argument has always been that the Lammermuirs have sort of been taken by stealth. In the Lammermuirs, it's just creeping, creeping, creeping.
Sir David Attenborough, the naturalist and wildlife broadcaster, has enraged countryside campaigners by supporting a 70 metre tall wind turbine for Glyndebourne opera house. In an unlikely stand-off, the veteran environmentalist is on collision course with the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE). Conservationists object to the wind turbine because the site is in the South Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. ...He believes the wind turbine will reduce pollution in the area and help to save the wider planet from the impacts of climate change. His views are set out in a submission sent in advance to the planning inspectorate.
The complaint claims that unique natural habitats in the north-eastern Kaliakra region have been destroyed in the process of building a wind farm. It has been backed by 12 other environmental and civil non-governmental organisations. The environmentalists believe that Kaliakra "is emblematic of how innovations and investment are used to mask criminal encroachment on bio-diversity". The complaint package includes documents, photos and maps showing the damage that the wind farm projects have done to nature.
Protesters are preparing for the latest round in a bitter dispute over a massive wind turbine proposed by the world-famous Glyndebourne Opera House. They claim that if it is allowed the 230-feet-high turbine will spoil the iconic beauty of the South Downs countryside. ...Ruth Chambers, the deputy chief executive of the Council for National Parks, said: "This case raises important national issues as it would be the largest turbine in any national park in England once the park comes into being. We are fully behind the local groups in opposing this threat to the precious downland landscape."
The government wants 45% of the country's electricity to come from renewables such as wind, hydro, and solar by 2010. And that's just a start. "This challenge will create a new industrial revolution," Portugal's economy minister, Manuel Pinho, told the BBC. ...The campaigners are torn between their concern about climate change and their love for the wildlife. "We should have renewable power but not at any price," Joao says.
Pat Northgraves, owner of High Farm Country Park, which is next to the proposed site of the wind farm at Routh, near Beverley, said the plans could threaten local businesses. He said: "Tourism is a key economic driver within the area. "This business could be irrevocably damaged if the proposals proceed. "It would put something at risk, which we built up from scratch and which relies on the natural resources of the region for its continued success. "This risk is unacceptable."
Yesterday, E.ON held a public meeting in the Northamptonshire village where computer generated photographs showing what the 377ft turbines would look like from the battlefield were put on show. The plans shocked residents who turned out in force to give their opinions. Wendy Westall, who lives close to where the turbines would be sited, said: "We're utterly and totally opposed to them. "They're just not appropriate for this historic area. Everyone around here is very proud of the battlefield and we want to protect it."
Plans for a controversial wind farm near Pontefract have been slammed by a Wakefield Council consultant. The news has come as a massive boost to local pressure groups fighting a dogged campaign to see off the plans by developers Banks Developments. ...Campaigners in Pontefract claim the wind masts are too close to local homes, will ruin their peaceful community and drive down house prices. ...Since then the Landscape Architect working for Wakefield Council has drafted his own response to the plans. A summary released by PWAG reads: "The turbines are close to residential dwellings. Their height results in them being visible over a relatively large area and the impact on the landscape character of Went Edge will be severe.
Green-power company Enertrag UK has been accused of declaring war on the Norfolk countryside after revealing proposals for a second windfarm. It is looking to build six wind turbines at New Road, Tivetshall St Mary, and has submitted a "scoping opinion" to South Norfolk Council, asking what information it would need to include in an environmental impact assessment. The village is within 10 miles of Hempnall where Enertrag's proposals to develop seven 130m-high turbines to supply renewable energy for the National Grid have sparked a public outcry. ..."I hope Enertrag's latest move will provoke a genuine debate amongst Norfolk people about the real value that we attach to our rural landscape, and whether we care about protecting it. The challenge for those of us who object to onshore wind turbines in inappropriate areas is to find ways of supporting renewable- energy schemes which don't degrade the countryside."
We add our support to all who believe that the government should not approve the proposed Lewis wind power development. The impact of such a development on landscape, wildlife and community interests would not be justified. We believe it is time for the Scottish Government to address some fundamental questions over Scotland's energy strategy. ...The government has time to pause before granting any more wind farm approvals, to ask whether it simply wants to carry on the policies of previous governments, or whether it wants to demonstrate a better way forward for wind energy development. New criteria, set by the government, are needed to define the type of landscape within which modern turbines can be accommodated, along with height limits. We cannot depend on simply excluding such large industrial structures from the areas designated for their wildlife and landscape value and their surrounding mountains and moorlands. A new approach is needed in which a world-class energy policy has due regard for a world-class landscape, throughout Scotland.
A controversial plan to build a wind farm on a sensitive habitat near the Pentland Hills was thrown out by councillors yesterday. Energy company E.ON UK wanted to build 18 turbines on a raised bog at Auchencorth Moss near Penicuik, but the scheme attracted about 2,400 objections and opposition from groups including the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Friends of the Pentlands and the Butterfly Conservation Society. Naturalist David Bellamy described the plan as "an act of international vandalism"
Ireland's failure to insist on environmental impact assessments before major development projects are carried out will be scrutinised by the European Court of Justice on Thursday. The European Commission brought an action against Ireland in May 2006, claiming that the government had failed to comply with its obligations under the 1985 Impact Assessment Directive. ...The commission alleged that ‘‘particular deficiencies'' in relation to environmental impact assessments for a wind farm at Derrybrien, Co Galway, amounted to ‘‘a manifest breach of the directive''. Work began on the 60-megawatt windfarm in July 2003. About 90 per cent of the site roads on the 300-hectare site and half the bases of the 71 wind turbines had been completed when a landslide occurred on October 16, 2003. The landslide destroyed trees, fisheries and an empty house, and blocked two roads, but nobody was hurt.
Eight days ago, to the jubilation of its critics and environmentalists, it emerged that the Scottish executive was "minded to refuse" the £500m scheme as it would seriously damage the moor's extremely fragile, internationally-protected habitats for rare birds such as dunlin, golden eagles, merlin, golden plover and red-throated divers. The moor itself is one of the most ecologically-significant peat bogs in Europe. Scottish ministers have since come under intense pressure to reverse that provisional decision before making a final announcement this month. Councillors, crofters' leaders and the developers are vigorously lobbying ministers and the European commission to save the north Lewis scheme, or at least find a compromise. Today the local Scottish National party MSP, Alasdair Allan, will face those bitterly-disappointed people at a meeting on Lewis.
The Scottish Government has inflicted the biggest injury on the reputation of Scotland as a place renowned for its natural beauty. The approval of the 68-turbine Griffin wind farm in the heart of Highland Perthshire has sounded the death knell to Perthshire's worldwide reputation as a jewel in the crown of Scotland's scenery. The 68 massive turbines would be seen from every hill and mountain top in the area, including Schiehallion, pictured. ...Why did the people living here not stop this?" The answer is that the Scottish Government listened to the power companies, not the people.