Rethink on wind farm planning policy called for by Country Life editor
as Government encourages 7-fold increase in wind turbines by 2010
Some of Britainís most cherished beauty spots are at risk from thousands of proposed new wind turbines, many taller than Nelsonís Column, if the Governmentís new draft planning policy on wind farms is implemented in June. This is the conclusion of an article written by the editor of Country Life, Clive Aslet, in the latest issue of the magazine, published this Thursday 1st April.
The change in planning policy, known as Planning Policy Statement 22, currently in a period of consultation by planning officials within the office of the Deputy Prime Ministerís department, is in response to the Governmentís commitment to produce 10% of the nationís energy from renewable resources, at the Kyoto summit.
According to Country Life, the 1,043 wind turbines spread across 84 sites in the UK will need to need to be increased by a further 6,000 turbines, not including the 959 turbines on 55 sites which have already been granted planning permission, if Britain is to meet itís obligations under Kyoto. To achieve the 20% target, set at Kyoto for 2020, this figure would need to rise by a further 10,000 turbines.
Citing ďan impending environmental disaster, presenting grave threats to both quality of life and tourism in the UKĒ, Country Lifeís editor has denounced PPS 22 as ďa dreadful mistake which will do irreversible damage to the British countrysideĒ. The magazine has further launched today a cross-party campaign and petition to oppose the Deputy Prime Ministerís Planning Policy Statement 22, which encourages the development of land-based wind farms in Britain.
A growing number of politicians from all parties, environmentalists and NGOs have begun to express disquiet at inappropriately sited windfarms and the planning process itself. These include the environmentalist David Bellamy. the RSPB, the CPRE, the Scottish National Party and the Scottish Wildlife Trust. Furthermore, Denmark, originally a pioneer in the harnessing of wind energy, has now stopped erecting wind farms due to environmental concerns.
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