Library filed under Impact on Landscape from Europe
There is no shortage of wind in the densely-populated Netherlands but there is a shortage of space and in a nation which likes its houses small and its gardens cosy, opposition to wind farms is immense. That is why a new Dutch wind farm is being built so far out to sea it is barely visible on the horizon, reducing the visual impact of its 60 turbines to virtually nil whilst at the same time harnessing higher offshore wind speeds. Offshore wind farms are likely to appear more and more frequently off European coastlines as governments seek to increase their use of renewable energy without angering their citizens by placing giant turbines on their doorsteps.
In an attempt to protect the moor the society has called for National Park status to be extended at the south west corner towards Brayford, Molland and West Anstey which are all in an area referred to as Greater Exmoor. The report states: "Protecting the landscape is a major concern." Recent proposals for a series of windfarms in the area surrounding Knowstone have caused particular unrest.
Mr Struan Stevenson, Scottish Tory MEP, believes that the renewable schemes would be in contravention of three European Directives and they should be put on hold for further consideration by Brussels. He has branded the plans "disgraceful" and claimed they amount to the rape of one of Scotland's most beautiful wildernesses. Just before the summer recess of the parliament, Mr Stevenson handed over on behalf of the campaign group Save Our Dava a large dossier on the projects to the EC. "By giving it personally to Environment Commissioner Stavos Dimas I am hoping that this will fast-track the intervention of the EC," said the MEP. "It shows how we believe there are prima facie breaches of at least three major European Directives involved with this cumulative project - the Birds Directive; the Planket Peat Bog Directive and the Habitat Directive.
The wind farms will require massive excavation of this ultra-sensitive and increasingly rare area, with consequent disturbance to the fragile ecosystem and hydrology, including the release of damaging gases to the environment. Dava Moor is also an invaluable wildlife corridor, running from the River Spey to the River Findhorn, for a huge array of bird life which will be vulnerable to the wind turbines....The SNP Scottish Executive needs to reassess the renewable energy policies of the previous Labou-led administraton to bring an end to the land-grab that has ensued around Dava Moor and elsewhere in the Highlands.
"These facilities are disproportionate to the islands' energy needs, and the majority of turbines installed in the past no longer function anyway," charged Antonia Antonakis, head of the municipal council of Serifos island. Local authorities fear that since wind turbines are usually situated on isolated hills and mountain tops, new roads will have to be built through previously unspoilt countryside, Antonakis said. Though the project on Serifos would involve building 87 turbines, 150-feet high each, this would provide less than a tenth of the country's renewable energy. The Greek industrial group Mytilineos has put in a bid for the project, which is still under consideration by the government.
While the process of formulating that policy is under way, all wind applications must be put on hold. Fenland is now on the tipping point of total rural landscape and skyline industrialisation. I say enough is enough.
The European Commission has been asked to intervene to stop proposals for five wind farms. The planned developments at Dava Moor, near Grantown on Spey, would mean 130 turbines close to or on the northern boundary of the Cairngorms National Park. Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson yesterday joined the RSPB and 50 other protesters, describing the plans as "environmental vandalism on a grand scale".
Highland planners were warned yesterday that they risked flooding communities and landing taxpayers with huge fines if they approved a raft of windfarm applications in a wildlife haven on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park. Scottish Tory MEP Struan Stevenson told local objectors to five schemes planned for the pristine Dava Moor near Grantown that he had submitted their complaints to EC Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas. He hoped the commissioner's legal officers would visit to verify that, cumulatively, the projects would breach bird, peat bog and habitat legislation.
One of the most significant sites in the history of British aviation is in imminent danger of destruction, a leading local historian has warned. A proposal by a developer SLP Energy to place seven 125m-high (410ft) wind turbines on the site of the former RAF Pulham - home to the famous "Pulham Pigs" - is "grossly irresponsible", says historian and archaeologist Hadrian Jeffs. "It is quite wrong that such an important historical location, both for East Anglia and for the nation, should be sacrificed in this way," he said.
The turbines emit a high pitched humming and a thudding sound when the blades pass the main shaft, a sound Clr Pardoe says resembles a Chinook helicopter. "They will be visually intrusive.
Controversial plans to build a windfarm on the hills above Old Hutton are being met with mounting opposition. The proposal for between five and eight turbines, less than two miles from the village, has prompted fears that irreparable damage would be caused to the landscape. Residents are so upset by the prospect of wind blades more than 120m high dominating the skyline they have formed a protest group known as A Blot - an echo of the cult 1980s TV drama, Blott On The Landscape.
A Fife village considered by some the most beautiful in Scotland could be devastated by wind turbines towering over it, according to its community councillors. Ceres and District Community Council has added its voice to the mounting opposition to plans for a wind farm just 1.9km east of Ceres, in the hillside at Gathercauld. The five 80 metre high turbines are the subject of a planning application by wind power firm EnergieKontor UK, which is also behind the proposals for a wind farm at Auchtermuchty. The community council voted to object to the wind farm-a decision it insisted was measured and taken after canvassing opinion for several months. Chairman Grant Robertson said, "Ceres is often considered the most beautiful village in Scotland and the thought of this beauty being devastated by those turbines towering over the village is too shocking to imagine."
A public hearing over plans for a proposed wind farm at Morwenstow is to take place following demands from protesters.The Planning Inspectorate has agreed to the hearing after power company West Coast Energy appealed against the decision to refuse an application to build a wind farm at Crimp. North Cornwall councillors went against planning officers' recommendations and turned down plans by the company to build three 81-metre (260ft) turbines near the coastal village. One of the reasons for refusal was the "unacceptable visual impact" of the wind farm, which would have a cumulative effect with Forest Moor in Bradworthy, home to North Devon's first wind farm. Members of campaign group, Morwenstow Against Turbines - MAT - were concerned the appeal would be decided through written representations only and have welcomed a public hearing.
WIND farms that "blight beautiful landscapes" should be scrapped, a Government minister said yesterday. Energy minister Malcolm Wicks has already blocked one large wind farm set for the Lake District and said he would be prepared to do so again if a planning application would result in "unsightly or intrusive" wind farms.
It now seems that, having disrupted and destroyed some of our local countryside with heavy negative industry, our Fenland Council has "accommodated" enough of these "awesome beasts", and may not wish to play ball with its political masters any longer. The wind industry has not been slow in reacting to the public's withering support of this industrialisation of our countryside and has placed its marketing machine into top gear. I agree with the council that it is time to withdraw from this rural carnage inflicted by these industrialists. I even more strongly object to my beloved English countryside being concreted over by international giants, that may have very little regard or no concern for our national heritage, the British countryside.
Now plans have been unveiled to make use of this power as part of an ambitious renewable energy project on the banks of the Trent. Proposals have been submitted to Rushcliffe Borough Council for a "landmark feature" of three arches, each containing five small wind turbines. Engineers believe the project will be functional, easy on the eye and "an iconic landmark feature for the scheme and the city".
An MP has put his political clout behind a campaign against a proposed wind farm amid claims that properties within a 2km "blight zone" will be devalued by at least 35 per cent if the turbines are built. South Norfolk Tory MP Richard Bacon warned of damage to the "gentle rural landscape" if plans for seven wind turbines on the old Pulham Airfield site, near Diss, went ahead.
It may look like a dilapidated farm steading at the moment, but an unremarkable group of buildings represents an enterprising future for Reg and Tamsin Watson. The huddled settlement the couple are planning to restore is, in countryside measurements, two fields away from a proposed wind turbine that will, with its eight "sisters" at Moorsyde, dominate their view of north Northumberland and the Borders. Metric measurements come in at 600 metres, but when the mast and blades also take up 110 metres of sky, the structure will appear very close indeed.
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.
After a six month pre-Assembly election moratorium on development, as many as 22 applications for new windfarms are now pending in Powys and anti-windfarm activists are organising themselves to oppose them. Famous TV naturalist Professor David Bellamy visited Mid Wales to give his support to anti-windfarm campaigners in Powys this weekend.