Clarification on turbine issue

PUBLISHED: 12:41 12 October 2007 | UPDATED: 23:06 28 May 2010

LIZ Wright (Parish Councils views irrelevant, Cambs Times September 28) says she has no views on wind turbines but felt strongly enough about the subject to write at length… She goes on to offer advice on how to be successful in my campaign to stop the r

LIZ Wright (Parish Councils' views irrelevant, Cambs Times September 28) says she has no views on wind turbines but felt strongly enough about the subject to write at length...

She goes on to offer advice on how to be successful in my campaign to stop the rural industrial carnage and vandalism bought about by a local wind industry, and those who support it.

She suggests I require a good working knowledge of planning, and work with parish councils.

Well, I think it's about time she familiarised herself about the turbine issue; so let me help her understand and inform her about myself and my campaign.

The campaign started in 1999, and with eight years of research, has had its successes. These include:

* Being active and instrumental in the creation of a wildlife protection 'buffer zone' along the fringes of the Ouse bird reserves;

* Research that culminated in public consumer protection, by the removal of micro wind turbines from national DIY stores because of misleading information and performance details;

* Since 1999, ensuring local residents were updated and kept informed about any misleading information released for public consumption, and to ensure that public debate continues;

* Completion of a Government White Paper regarding planning for renewable micro generation schemes.

Over the years, Cambs Environmental and Wildlife Protection has worked closely with many conservation and environmental protection groups. This has bought us into conflict with local planning, developers, and all who seek both political and capital gain.

Liz Wright bases her letter on many assumptions, mostly wrong. Being a recently resigned parish councillor, I wish to inform her that my association with district and parish councils has made me very aware of planning policy and procedures, or lack of them as is the case of wind turbines - an appalling situation bought about by Fenland Council's embracement and support of this heavy industry.

It is right to suggest that Fenland cannot refuse any application for wind turbines, but it can certainly reject them - 70 per cent of all applications are rejected in England. South Holland District Council refused planning permission for eight turbines because of size and scale of the development. It's only in Fenland that this naïve courtship of turbines exists.

Liz Wright says parish councils' views are irrelevant. This seems to suggest they don't serve any purpose, although this is not my view. I am however angry about parish councils approving what they later regret. This local proliferation of turbines has been assisted by their ineptitude and lack of knowledge on the subject.

Ironically what Doddington Parish Council now regards as destroyers of the fens, was reported in the Cambs Times (September 2003) as a community project by a very happy landowner.

I wonder how many of those who live within this blighted community, regard themselves as part of the project now, or share in the lucrative profits, paid by the tax payer.

JOHN STONEMAN, Cambs Environmental and Wildlife Protection, Welney

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