I attended the wind turbine meeting on the PfR Pannington Hall application. It was packed with many standing at the back of the Pinewood Community Hall Ipswich.
In addition to the public affected by the wind turbine application were people with a political interest. The meeting was attended by Tim Yeo MP for South Suffolk, Jane Basham Labour PPC for the constituency, and myself, Steven Whalley, as observer for South Suffolk UKIP. Representatives of Babergh Council were in the chair and were available for comment. (There was a
fragile truce tacit agreement amongst the political representatives that we would not distract from the planning opposition meeting with reference to Tim Yeo’s constituency member vote.)
The most effective speakers against the plan for the wind turbines, were two residents from Kessingland, who have had to endure the proximity of turbines for a number of years. The turbines were said to have been pressed on them with minimal explanation and that they were somehow helping the nation in having them in their area.
The turbine installations turned out to noisy, produced flicker, and were an eyesore. Property values stagnated or fell, and there were difficulties in selling houses near to them. The story of Kessingland is here.
Tim Yeo spoke at length about the reasons why this application was not appropriate, and in fact received grudging acceptance that at least in public he was acting in the affected public’s favour. However, outside of Suffolk and the neighbouring Conservative constituencies he is wholeheartedly in favour of windturbines, and has declared many hundreds of thousands of pounds in consultancy fees from renewables organisations. This is discussed here.
He has even gone on record as saying that people should be bribed to accept windturbines. He then made the comparison between his proposed bribe and the recently announced 1% tariff to be given to the local communities for allowing fracking. This ignores that windturbines and solar farms need subsidies for 25 years, whereas fracking installations will not have this. Also, the 1% from shale gas goes to the many people affected, whereas the subsidies for windturbines are huge when compared to the size of the ‘bribe’ to the community, and of course profit mostly a single landowner.
The reduction in value of properties close to windturbines was discussed and was a cause of concern. This is not surprising as up to 20% reduction in price has been found in some individual examples. In a recent LSE report the reduction is quoted as 11%.
The show of hands at the end indicated almost unanimous support against the wind turbine application. A very good result, but now it is time to get those objections in before the deadline of 28th February 2014.
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