Cumwhinton / Newlands wind farm application to be considered on Friday

The applications for three 100m turbines at Newlands (near Cumwhinton) will be considered by the Carlisle City Council Development Control Committee Meeting at  - Carlisle Civic Centre on  Friday 11th November 10am – I am sure support would be welcome.  More info can be found on the opposition group’s website.

Meeting about wind farm applications in Barrow, Dalton and Furness 9th November

MEETING AT NEWTON VILLAGE HALL

There are a number of current Planning Applications for Wind  Turbines in the Barrow, Dalton and Furness areas. If you are uncertain about the  Impact of these Applications, worried about Noise, Devaluation of your property  or the visual Impairment of your  village or neighbourhood then please attend our meeting.

WEDNESDAY 9th NOVEMBER  AT 1930HOURS
(7.30pm) The meeting will be led by local
councillors and has been organised by

THE
FURNESS WIND TURBINE ACTION GROUP

Application for Furness Wind Farm – Standish Cote, Harlock Hill

An application for “Furness Wind Farm” has been made to both Barrow Borough Council and South Lakeland District Council.

The plans include removal of the 5 Harlock Hill turbines to be replaced by five larger newer ones.

Link for Barrow application http://www.barrowbc.gov.uk/papps/comment.aspx?id=38469

Link
for South lakeland application http://www.southlakeland.gov.uk/fastweb/detail.asp?AltRef=SL/2011/0685&ApplicationNumber=SL%2F2011%2F0685&AddressPrefix=&submit1=Go

 

Conference for those opposing windfarms in the Scottish landscape

Continuing the slightly north-of-Cumbria theme I have been asked to mention the Scottish National WindCon on Friday 11th November 10.30 am – 4pm at Ayr Racecourse.   Communities Against Turbines Scotland say “ If wind turbines are impacting on your life! If you want to know about the future energy plans for Scotland! If you want to know more about wind turbines and the cost to the environment, health and economy, then this is the conference for you!”

A new website opposing wind farm proliferation in south west Scotland and the Solway

The South West Wind Farm Action Group “… are not against wind farms in moderation. However, we are opposed to any more wind farms being developed in Western Galloway (Wigtownshire) and particularly the area of sea bed that has been identified for development at the Mull of Galloway….”  I mention them because their new website has a section about wind farm developments in the Solway Firth and Irish Sea.

 

Surely the policy makers read the newspapers…

I try to keep up with the news about wind farms – applications, controversies, policies etc… but there has been so much in the newspapers recently it would be impossible NOT to realise that there is growing evidence and acceptance that the policies – planning, constructing and funding are wrong.

We are paying private companies NOT to generate energy.  To turn off their generating capacity.  The same companies that benefit from a system (Renewable Obligation Certificate) that pays them three times over for electricity generated.  At a time when household budgets are being hit from every side and more and more are living in “energy poverty” it’s not just a flawed policy, but to me seems amoral.

In Canada a couple has taken the courageous but logical step to seek $1.5 million from Suncor an energy company for health problems allegedly caused by the windfarm built next door.

Save our Stainmore – again

An application has been made to Eden District Council for 3 turbines at Stainmore -Bleathgill, Barras, Kirkby Stephen. Although at 25 metres they are smaller than those planned nearby by Community Wind Power, they would be an imposing and inappropriate intrusion in this unspoiled and PROTECTED landscape – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

Of particlular concern is the fact that the decision level is “delegated” – suggesting that planning officers do not consider that this application is contentious.  Within an AONB this seems extraordinairy.  They could set a precendent for turbines in the area and would downgrade the stunning landscape which may give larger proposals leverage.

The consultation period began on 23rd August.  If you are opposed to the industrialisation of Cumbria’s natural beauty please find time to object to this proposal.  More details and an  opportunity to object online can be found here.

Petition: UK renewable energy and planning policies, fairness and social justice

Below is an eloquent request for singnatures on an e-petition that those opposed to wind farms may be interested in. 

WHY YOU SHOULD SIGN THIS NEW HM GOVERNMENT E-PETITION

Whatever your personal views on climate change, UK cabinet ministers have agreed to a far-reaching, legally binding “green deal” that will commit the UK to two decades of drastic cuts in carbon emissions. This ‘green deal’ will be immensely profitable for wealthy landowners, developers and for the energy industry, all of whom will be the beneficiaries of a massive transfer of wealth from ordinary consumers through surcharges levied on energy bills. Equally this deal is manifestly unfair to the thousands of rural communities that will be literally forced to accept the loss of amenity resulting from the construction and operation of local renewable energy plants and supporting infrastructure without proportionate compensation in order to export power back to major population centres.

According to the latest figures (2009) around 21% of UK households are already suffering from fuel poverty.  Rural households are far more likely to find themselves in fuel poverty than urban households, so the impact of funding the ‘green deal’ is already falling disproportionately on vulnerable people living in rural communities and disproportionately on some UK regions. Moreover, the burden of new generation development is not being shared fairly, with some constituencies and regions doing little to meet the challenge of climate change and others enduring a land-rush of speculative planning applications for the construction of intrusive renewable energy plants.

Resistance to the practical implementation of UK Government strategy on renewable energy development seems to be becoming more entrenched day by day. To date this resistance has simply been channelled and vented through the democratic checks and balances that exist in the planning system. Unfortunately, politicians have simply focused on removing these checks and balances instead of asking why the electorate has been applying them.

Paradoxically the measures taken to water down or abolish the remaining protective safeguards in the planning system have all been completely counterproductive. As a result the rural electorate no longer seems to trust the impartiality of the Government on renewable energy issues and doubts any assurances made about the safety or utility of renewable energy projects. Unless this trust is rapidly re-established the result will be a growing conflict with the rural electorate that the UK government and the devolved administrations cannot possibly win.

Plans to construct the large numbers of renewable energy plants urgently needed to fulfil legally binding climate change commitments are very likely to be overwhelmingly rejected at future elections unless Ministers alter course and offer the rural electorate a “fair deal” on renewable energy that addresses their specific concerns and offers appropriate safeguards. This change of emphasis has to start now!

Unfortunately the planning system allows no room for the grievances of rural communities to be aired so that Ministers can hear them. Principles like ‘fairness’ and ‘social justice’ are not material planning considerations. However they are material political considerations – so please take this opportunity to make your voice heard in Westminster before it is too late!

————————————————————————-

 THE E-PETITION WORDING:

UK renewable energy policy and associated planning policies should give far greater weight to principles of fairness and social justice.

Responsible department: Department for Energy and Climate Change

We the undersigned recognise the UK’s legally binding commitment to tackle climate change and urge the UK Government to give far greater weight to the principles of fairness and social justice within renewable energy and planning policy in order to win public support. Specifically, we believe that:

1) Private interest groups should not profit disproportionately from sacrifices made to tackle climate change and economic benefits must be more fairly and transparently distributed.

2) The burden of achieving carbon emission reduction through new renewable energy developments should be shared out more equally across regions and districts.

3) Communities throughout the UK deserve fair treatment, with equally effective protection from new forms of negative impact arising from renewable energy technologies.

4) In the spirit of localism, communities should be empowered to determine the type and location of new renewable energy developments that are acceptable for their neighbourhood.

————————————————————————-

 WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:

Visit the following link and sign the e-Petition: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/5912

The folly of windfarms according to the national press

Two recent articles have highlighted a couple of the problems energy policy with wind generation at its heart creates.

The Telegraph discusses the limitations of the National Grid and the need for back up:

“Howard Rogers, senior research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, said in a study that Britain’s power network is not built for wind power accounting for more than a third of capacity on the system.

He said that any more than 28 gigawatts of wind would mean it is likely that turbine owners would regularly have to be paid to keep capacity off the system. Earlier this year, six wind farms were paid £900,000 to stop generating for one night, because the system became overloaded.”

The Times carried an article by Matt Ridley, backed up with scientific studies. “Green cure for a nosebleed: choke the patient” may be read here.

“Climate change is real, but our remedy is excessive, futile — and it’s strangling the poor….”

“…Almost every other climate change policy suggested so far is similarly futile. Wind: costs a fortune, kills eagles and does not even reduce carbon emissions because of the need for fossil fuel back-up. Solar: the tariff paid for energy fed into the grid is so high that you might even make money if you shine off-peak electric lamps on your panels at night. Tidal, hydro: far greater impact on natural habitats than climate change. Wave: does not work.”