With the menace of unproductive wind farms threatening to blight Britain’s ancient countryside, Spear’s announces its campaign to save Britain’s historic landscapes. We will be engaging with scientists, historical landscape experts and the heritage sector to highlight the folly of this misguided policy through editorial, events and online activism.
To take one example, the village of Winwick Warren in Northamptonshire, with its 13th-century church whose bell tower gently rises above the skyline, is under serious threat from a proposal for a cluster of wind turbines that will be 126 metres high (25 double-decker buses stacked one on another).
We are not opposed to the idea of renewable energy or wind farms — especially if they are offshore — despite the fact that there are very serious scientific doubts about their effectiveness and viability.
As Der Spiegel has stated: ‘Germany’s CO2 emissions haven’t been reduced by even a single gram despite all their wind turbines. In fact Germany has had to build many more coal and gas fired plants.’
It is critical that if wind farms are going to be built across the country, the sites chosen are the right ones, and that those benefiting are not simply landowners and developers who care little or nothing for the damage they are doing to our landscape.
Email email@example.com to find out more about the campaign
Proposed wind turbines over Bicton Farm
Britain generates 58 watts of wind power per person compared to 518 in Denmark, 425 in Spain and 320 in Germany.
Attracted by the subsidies on offer, developers are grabbing unsuitable land. On occasions, they have admitted that they have not looked elsewhere in an area for more appropriate sites; it was enough to have a landowner willing to sell.
Terence Blacker, The Independent
According to the government the UK should generate ‘15% of power from renewables’ with no concern for cost. That cost is budgeted to be a staggering £100bn in grants and price levies by 2020 (from both public and private sources).
Meteorologists believe that changes to the Atlantic jet stream could alter the pattern of winds over the next 40 years and leave the nation’s wind farms running at lower capacity.
The Daily Telegraph
Winwick Manor, over which wind turbines will tower
1) Get the government and regional planning authorities to create specific, democratic and clear guidelines as to where wind farms can be positioned, with particular regard for impact on historical setting, landscape, heritage and local tourism.
2) Lobby for a sensible and fair capping system to be enforced and regulated so that historical landscapes are not turned into wind-farm forests and made suitable only for industrial wind production. Areas that may be suitable for sustaining a small amount of sensitively placed wind turbines must not be turned into wind alleys that destroy the enjoyment of historical setting and landscape for the community.
3) Lobby for an improved and updated system of graded and listed historical landscapes across the country, much as historical buildings are given protection from development as Listed Buildings. The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act (1979) that protects Scheduled Monuments is out-of-dated, confusing, and was put in place before the wind farm development issue arose in this country.
Throughout our campaign, Spear’s will be objectively adding to national data and research that is being drawn up around this contentious subject. We will also be publishing a list of especially threatened historic villages and landscape sites that we feel are worthy of support in our campaign, especially those that are smaller and may not have the resources or manpower to fight the big wind farm developers. If anybody — farmers or landowners, for example — has been approached by wind farm developers or energy companies about a proposal we want to hear from you so that we can understand with greater transparency the economic and commercial model behind the wind farm debate. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spear’s will be teaming up with local media — magazines, newspapers, radio, TV — to run a series of public debates around the country which engage local opinion about wind farms and their impact on local historic landscapes. We will be assessing and debating the impact of wind farm developments on tourism, local economy, wildlife, environment and heritage. In addition to local coverage, Spear’s will be reporting on such debates — in town halls, schools, local theatres — with national and international coverage. Typically we will have four speakers — two for each side, with one representing the local pro-green wind energy lobby and the other representing the local community, tourism/heritage sectors and local economy. Any local media organisations or county councils that wish to get involved in such debates should contact email@example.com for more details.
Based on our conversations, debates and dialogue with government ministers, MPs, local politicans, councillors, planning officers andrural conservation bodies, we wil be writing a document that will be proposing the most sensible way of redressing the inherent wind farm vs landscape planning problems posed by the Localism Bill. This original policy document is necessary because there are divided factions within the heritage and countryside lobby sector because of split loyalites stemming from vested commercial interests of many self-interested landowners who are active in the countryside and heritage sectors.