Letter: County’s stance in on right lines

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Further to your article last week on Rutland County Council’s new guidance on wind turbine planning applications, the Woolfox Wind Farm Action Group is not opposed to wind energy as a concept, and sees a very definite use for small individual turbines directly powering local farming and industrial units such as crop driers and poultry farms.

What the group does oppose is large groups of huge turbines providing inefficient and intermittent electrical power to the national grid.

The turbines and the pylons carrying the power across many miles of countryside will disfigure Rutland’s historic landscape character and despoil the scenic and beautiful rural views which many value so highly in this county.

Furthermore, until such time as someone designs and builds an efficient method of energy storage, they will not replace one single conventional fossil fuelled power station.

The coalition government, possibly torn by wanting to be seen to be green but knowing the fallacy inherent in large scale windfarms, seems unable to produce a coherent policy on the use and subsidy of renewable energy, and until it does, local planning authorities must produce their own guidance policies for dealing with wind farm planning applications.

The Woolfox Wind Farm Action Group is pleased to see that Rutland County Council has produced and approved a supplementary planning document that gives guidance in general terms on minimum separation distances from buildings, conservation areas and sites of special scientific interest, and that this guidance takes into account the number and size of the proposed turbines.

Each application will have to be treated on its own merits, but at least with the supplementary planning document in place there is guidance to 
developers, residents and planning officers on what is and what is not likely to be acceptable in Rutland.

The next steps are to encourage other neighbouring local planning authorities whose decisions could affect Rutland to adopt similar guidance, and to support the legal force of the Rutland SPD guidance by any means necessary.

S M D Williamson-Noble

Chairman, Woolfox Wind Farm Action Group, Pickworth