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Villagers to fight plans for yet another windfarm

PLANS to build a new 62 turbine wind farm in the Lammermuir Hills are likely to receive a frosty reception when they go on display at Longformacus today (Thursday).

ÊNorth British Windpower wants to develop an area of managed grouse moor at Fallago Ridge, between the hills of Meikle Says Law to the north and Wedder Lairs to the south in the western Lammermuirs. The site is around five miles from the nearest communities of Longformacus, Westruther and Gifford.
ÊBut villagers already fighting the planned extension of the existing Crystal Rig wind farm near Cranshaws say "enough is enough."
ÊEllemford resident Kate Knight, chair of the Lammermuir Protection Group, claimed the majority of local people felt they had suffered their fair share of windmills.
Ê"I have added it up and there are around 300 turbines already built or in the planning system for the Lammermuir Hills," she said. "I understand that the Scottish Executive has its targets but it's getting beyond a joke. The Lammermuir Hills are an important resource for the Borders. We have a lady who does bed and breakfast on our committee and she says that people come here to see the smooth outlines of the hills and the beautiful scenery. They are just going to stop coming and tourism is very important to this area."
ÊMs Knight, who is also on the committee of the national Views of Scotland organisation, claimed the new generation of wind turbines were 354 feet high (108m) and could not be screened by the natural landscape. Campaigners have also accused the developers of trying to de-emphasise the fact that the proposed site is high up by referring to it as Fallago Rig, rather than Ridge.
ÊHowever, North British Windpower say Fallago Rig Wind Farm would be built in a natural bowl, hidden by the surrounding hills, and claim the site is already blighted by a string of large high-voltage electricity pylons. Today's exhibition is one of three being held to give local people a chance to respond to the plans.
ÊChairman Christopher Wilkins said: "It is vital that local residents are informed and have the opportunity to air their views before the planning application is made. However, we are confident that Fallago Rig is a good site which is secluded in an unobtrusive location and already degraded by large electricity pylons.
Ê"We are also keen to ensure that Fallago Rig Wind Farm makes a direct contribution to the environment at a local level as well as a useful contribution to national targets for green electricity. We are delighted to be proposing this innovative environmental fund."
ÊBased on the current design, the proposed windfarm will comprise 62 turbines with an output expected to be sufficient to supply the theoretical needs of over 70,000 Scottish households.
ÊThe developers and landowners say they will donate a share of the revenues generated by the wind farm to a new environment fund, the 'Tweed Environment Fund,' which would invest in projects for the "protection, improvement and appreciation of the natural, built and cultural heritage of the area." While the revenues of the fund will depend on the size of the windfarm for which planning consent can be obtained, the donors hope to make an aggregate contribution of about £240,000 each year over the wind farm's expected operational life of up to 25 years.
ÊThe Tweed Forum has been asked to assume responsibility for the administration and disbursement of the fund. The Forum will not be involved in any way in assessing or determining the planning application. It is likely that the decision on whether to approve Fallago Rig will be taken by ministers as wind farms generating more than 50 megawatts of electricity must seek permission from the Scottish Executive.
ÊToday's exhibition takes place at Longformacus Village Hall between 1-8pm. A further exhibition has been arranged at Gifford on March 3, 2-7.30pm and a similar event took place yesterday at Lauder.
24 February 2005
CAMPAIGNERS dressed as endangered animals urged shoppers to back Thorne's Tween Bridge wind farm project during a local rally.

Members of the Yes2Wind network, made up of Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and World Wildlife Fund groups teamed up with local pro-wind action group Friends of Tween Bridge for the town centre event.
Organisers said the gathering had been one of the biggest of its kind in the country as campaigners donned costumes of animals threatened by global warming such as penguins, polar bears, gorillas and tigers.
Friends of Tween Bridge spokesman Richard Claxton said shoppers had signed over 300 letters in support of the scheme.
He said: "We had a really positive response from local people - very few expressed an opinion against wind farms in general.
"Global warming poses a huge threat to comunities around the world, including people right here in South Yorkshire. We can play our own part in defeating this menace by generating clean, green energy at Tween Bridge."
Plans for the wind farm, proposed by United Utilities, would see 28 turbines on the site to generate power for a quarter of Doncaster homes. The scheme is expected to go before borough councillors later this year.
24 February 2005

IN CONTRAST to calls for the government to start investing in nuclear power, environmental group Greenpeace is adamant Britain can meet its Kyoto objectives using green power.

Greenpeace stated this week: “Wind power is the only clean energy source that can deliver large amounts of power right now. The UK is the windiest country in Europe. Offshore wind alone, could meet our electricity needs three times over.

“Wind power can now produce electricity at a cheaper price than nuclear power in the UK. What’s more, the UK government predicts that onshore wind will be the cheapest form of electricity generation by 2020.

“The UK government has set a modest target of getting 10 percent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2010. Only through a massive uptake in wind energy can this target be met.

“For now the government favours clean energy such as wind as the route to halting climate change, but refuses to rule out dirty nuclear power as an option. If wind power is allowed to fail, new nuclear power stations would be built in the UK.”

Greenpeace also sees vast potential in development of solar power, stating: “Despite our rainy climate, the UK has the potential to supply 2/3 of our electricity needs through solar electric panels alone.”


THE leader of the biggest Sellafield union has criticised the Government for dithering over the nation’s future power.

Peter Clements knows the industry from the inside, having worked for BNFL at Sellafield for 30 years. He has been Prospect union Sellafield section chairman for four years, representing professional, managerial, technical, specialist and administration grades within BNFL.

Prospect is the largest union on the Sellafield site.

Now he has issued a challenge to Whitehall: “I would like to express my concerns at the current Government’s inability to make a firm decision on what is increasingly becoming the only viable solution to our country's energy crisis.

“Prospect have always supported a balanced energy policy, proposing and supporting motions on the subject at past TUC conferences. In addition to this Prospect have recently held a seminar in London which brought together interested parties to establish a model for a new nuclear build program within the UK, a model that endeavours to secure support from all stakeholders.

“It is my opinion that the UK energy policy is facing increasing difficulties, we find ourselves at a point where a number of largely independent factors are coming together to require a complex balancing act if all or any of the government policy objectives are to be achieved.

Some of the factors include:

Inexorable growth in electricity demand of around 1 to 2% each year;

A country moving from 65% coal and no gas generation in 1990 to a target of 75% gas generation by 2020;

Depletion of UK oil and gas reserves which means we will be importing up to 80% of our gas by 2020, and this from countries with potential cultural and political instabilities;

The Government focusing on support for renewables and energy efficiency and also the deregulation of the electricity market.

“Remember as all this goes on so we have to satisfy our energy policies and to the vast majority of consumers the priority is economic and security of supply. Yet the increased reliance on imported gas brings the prospect of long interruptions of supply, whether through technical problems or political instability with being at the end of a long pipe line from Russia to Western Europe.

“While we support the further investment in a balanced energy policy, it should be recognised that renewables such as wind power also brings with it concerns of intermittency and inefficiency. Even Professor James Lovelock, ‘guru’ of the environmental movements speaking at the recent Prospect seminar on keeping the nuclear option open, said: ‘Clean renewable energy sounds appealing but in practice is ruinously expensive and little more use than trying to survive on aperitifs alone’.

“A further part of the Government’s policy relates to protecting the environment, specifically to CO2 emissions. The move from coal to gas generation has given the UK an artificial impressive start in this area and it cannot be underestimated the role nuclear power could play to redress the balance.

“Lovelock also warned us that burning gas instead of coal also sounds good and green since it cuts CO2 emissions in half. In practice it may be the most dangerous energy source of all, because natural gas is 23 times more potent a greenhouse gas as CO2.

“During the next critical 20 to 50 years even a 2% leak from natural gas from production sites to power stations makes it as bad as burning coal.

“There is still a long way to go to meet our stretching targets, indeed Government statistics show that UK C02 emissions went up not down last year.

“The aim must be a balanced mix of energy generation with inherent security, which accompanies diversity; there are roles to be played by carbon free renewables, by "clean coal" technology that offers significant UK reserves. But any policy, which omits nuclear generation and therefore new build, would be both economically and environmentally flawed.

“As a final warning in Professor Lovelock's speech he stated ‘but sadly in the present world the green concepts of sustainable development and renewable energy are false and beguiling dreams that can only lead to failure’.

“In short, this monumental challenge is not just for our generation but for generations to come and remember, decisions made today may take a generation to realise.

“We can not let the Government wait for the lights to go out to act, we must press for action now.”

Hostile land grab allows crofters to cash in on wind farm
By Auslan Cramb, Scottish Correspondent
(Filed: 24/02/2005)

Four cousins who own a sprawling island estate are about to become the victims of Britain's first hostile "land grab".

They may not fit the stereotype of the absentee English laird, but their neighbours are planning to seize the land that has been in their family for 80 years.

Under radical new land reform legislation, Highlands communities are allowed to buy private estates whether they are for sale or not.

Last week, the residents of Galson estate in the Western Isles voted overwhelmingly in favour of buying-out Alexander Graham and his relatives. They could be the new owners later this year.

Mr Graham, speaking for the first time about the prospect of losing his land, said he believed elements of the community wanted the estate because it was earmarked for Europe's biggest wind farm.

If the scheme is approved, 230 giant turbines, each the height of a 40-storey building, will be built on an undulating moorland of peat bog, heather and trout lochs. Nearly 100 would be on the Galson estate, and the annual income for the crofters would be hundreds of thousands of pounds.

If they can buy the land before a planning decision is made on the wind farm, they are likely to secure it for a much lower price.

The community will formally ask to "grab" 48,000 acres of the estate within the next few weeks, and is certain of support from the Labour and Liberal Democrat politicians who drew up the legislation. Mr Graham, an education official, has little in common with the "hunting, shooting and fishing" lairds caricatured by supporters of land reform.

He lives on the island, would like to develop the estate and said the legislation had resulted in people expecting "something for nothing".

He questioned whether the public knew that 90 per cent of the purchase price might come from the taxpayer.

Several other estates have been taken over in recent years, but all were on the market at the time.

Galson is likely to be the first to be seized under the most draconian provisions of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003. "People in this part of the world have a view that the land should belong to the people, and this has been pushed by the local Labour MP and MSP," said the owner.

"There isn't anything positive we can say that will appear to justify our position as landowners, and that is why we have not commented until now. We are taking legal advice, but the group behind this are trying to expedite the situation and are being encouraged to do so."

He admitted his family had not had money to invest in the estate, and said he could see the benefits of community ownership if it brought new opportunities.

But he added: "Virtually all the developments proposed could be achieved without the estate being bought."

Mr Graham said that during negotiations with Amec, the energy company, provisions were made for the crofters to receive 40 per cent of the annual rental income from the wind farm - if it was approved.

Forty per cent would go to the landowners and 20 per cent to the community. If the buy-out succeeded, the present owners will be left empty-handed.

"We are not absentee English landowners," said Mr Graham. "Since the estate was bought in 1926 it has been owned by the same family.

"Three of the four people (including the local undertaker) live on the island, and the same can't be said for many of the absentee crofters in favour of a takeover."

Norman Thomson, chairman of the Galson Estate Trust, which would run the property for the community, said he was delighted with last week's vote, in which more than 80 per cent backed a buy-out. There was a 78 per cent turnout.

"There are a lot of people who wanted to see this land taken over a long time ago, but the money was not available," he said.

The community plans to develop the "untapped" potential of the area, including shooting and fishing.

Agnes Rennie, 48, a crofter in the village of Galson whose family have lived in the area for generations, said the community did not vote for the buy-out because of the wind farm. She opposed the project and believed many residents felt the same way.

The community's interest, she added, was in returning the land to the people, and righting the wrong of the Clearances, in which crofters were moved in the 19th century to make way for sheep.

"People feel these estates would be better run by the community," she said. "There is a certain putting right of history.

"Now we have the democratic process in place to allow people to take control of their own destiny."

The takeover is likely to be approved by the Scottish Executive later this year.



 Villagers fight wind farm bid

Feb 24 2005

By Dave Black, The Journal


Villagers are gearing up for a David against Goliath battle over plans to develop a wind farm.

Families at Kiln Pit Hill, near the Northumberland and County Durham border, fear the eight turbines would damage the landscape.

They say the turbines would be a blot on the landscape near the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and soar 160ft above St Andrew's Church at Grey Mare Hill.

People from about 25 households in the hamlets of Kiln Pit Hill and Unthank have set up an action group to oppose the Npower Renewables' plan for eight wind turbines near Slaley.

It is one of three wind farms Npower wants to site in Northumberland.

Families at Kiln Pit Hill say the first they knew of it was when they read about it in The Journal and that they have been unable to find out from Npower the exact proposed location.

The action group is to meet Hexham MP Peter Atkinson and has been in touch with Northumberland and County Durham officials of the Campaign to Protect Rural England. Architect Steve McIntyre, 36, who lives with wife Helen, 38, and daughter Emma, three, at Kiln Pit House, said: "The short term financial gains of the wind developers are not more important than the protection of our countryside." Dr Michelle Eagle, who lives at Kiln Pit Hill with husband Paul and daughters Sally and Josie, said: "These turbines will dwarf the ancient church."

Npower has promised extensive consultations on the proposed wind farms at Kiln Pit Hill, Toft Hill near Berwick and Middlemoor north of Alnwick, before planning applications are submitted. Spokeswoman Sara Alan-Smith said: "Local people will get the precise locations for the proposed wind farms as part of the consultation exercise, which will include information leaflets and public exhibitions."
Protesters fear they will be wind turbine 'guinea pigs'

PROTESTERS who are battling plans to develop 28 giant wind turbines near Doncaster claim they are being treated as "guinea pigs".
Farmers in Thorne want to build the turbines, which would have a maximum height of 125 metres, at Tween Bridge.
If successful, the project headed by Paul Burtwistle of Dairy Farm, Thorne, would produce 83 megawatts of electricity – enough to power 39,000 homes and, according to its supporters, do their bit to slow down global warming.
But detractors fear there could be health risks.
Dr Ann Walker, chairman of Thorne and District Windfarm Advisory Group, told the Yorkshire Post: "There has not been thorough research done, we are being treated as guinea pigs.
"These turbines would be very close to the human population. There are over 3,000 houses in Moorends – less than a mile from the proposed turbines.
"Our big concern is that the noise effects, high and low frequency, can be detrimental for people who live nearby.
"This is my primary concern – these health implications.
"Secondly, I am also concerned about the 'Flicker' effect – this is when the sunlight is behind the blades, and it can make people feel nauseous and uncomfortable.
"Thirdly, there is the visual issue – these turbines are gigantic."
Helen Kirk, a scientist and executive secretary of Thorne and Hatfield Moors Conservation Forum, said she was unhappy about the potential impact the plans would have on the internationally important site of Thorne Moors.
In particular the group is fearful for the hydrology of the moors.
On Saturday pro-wind campaigners from the national Yes2Wind network attended an event in Doncaster town centre dressed as polar bears, gorillas and tigers, asking shoppers to support the fight against climate change by backing the plans.
Richard Claxton, Friends of Tween Bridge spokesman, said: "Global warming poses a huge threat to communities around the world, including people right here in South Yorkshire.
"We can play our part in defeating this menace by generating clean, green energy at Tween Bridge.
Wind farms can power our TVs and washing machines without putting greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere."
He was dismissive of the objections saying the turbines would be placed at least 350 metres from the moors.
He said the application has yet to be debated by Doncaster Council's planning committee. It may be that it is eventually decided by a public inquiry.
21 February 2005
 Environment business back turbine plan
By Rebecca Green  23.02.2005

THE COMPANY backing an application for a private wind turbine in St Newlyn East has defended plans against what it calls ‘nimbyism’from villagers.
Creative Environmental Networks (CEN), which helps develop renewable energy schemes, is supporting Nicholas Warren’s bid to put a wind turbine on Pophams Farm in Holt Road.
Situated in a field behind the farm, the turbine would supply electricity to a barn of three holiday cottages.
The proposal is generating outrage in the village with many residents worried the idea will set a precedent for others and will be an eyesore.
But CEN project manager Philip Jackson does not believe this will be the case.
"If people can afford each time to fork out £24,000 for a turbine the size of Mr Warren's, then that might happen. Somehow I think not," he said.
More than 80 people packed the village hall last week to oppose the idea at the parish council meeting.
Spokesperson for the opponents Russell Lye claimed the turbine could de-value properties by 30 per cent, would be noisy and create annoying light flickering.
But Mr Jackson disagrees: "The actual turbine will be well shielded from view by a set of high, mature trees and will only be visible from a very small number of places in the village, if at all," he said.
"The noise will be equivalent to your living room's background noise and the shadow flicker resulting from the turbine will not be a problem due to its positioning, effectively away from the village."
Mr Jackson claims there is no evidence to suggest turbines reduce property prices in the vicinity of wind farms, adding that plans are for a single 15-metre, 6kW turbine, which would be 1.5 per cent smaller than those at Newlyn Downs.
The need for renewable energy schemes was highlighted last week as the Kyoto Protocol came into force, committing countries to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions, the main greenhouse gas.
"Making these reductions a reality, however, will depend on each and every one of us," said Mr Jackson.
He claims opponents to the wind turbine lack awareness of the environmental issues driving the idea.
"But the problem in some cases is not only a lack of awareness, it’s also nimbyism," he said.
According to Mr Jackson, local renewable energy projects, such as Mr Warren’s, can be milestones in the move towards sustainable energy.
"These early schemes can be used as beacon installations to get the sustainability message across, and enable people to see that a difference can be made," he said.
"The village of St Newlyn East could be the beneficiary of one such project. The turbine will allow Mr Warren to produce enough electricity for his own consumption, and also export green electricity locally into the grid, moving the village down the road to sustainability.
"Everyone has their own part to play, for this generation and for future generations. Let’s just be thankful there are men like Nick Warren prepared to lead the way, often at considerable expense to themselves."
Having listened to both sides of the debate last Monday the parish council objected to the application but ultimately the decision will rest with Carrick District Council.


11:00 - 22 February 2005
Watch out for the wind turbine bribes! Despairing of winning round public opinion, windfarm companies are now prepared to offer monstrous bribes of money to get their applications accepted. One windfarm company is offering to put £35,000 into the local community - a bit of an increase, I admit, on the traditional 30 pieces of silver.

Do they think that those charged with the protection of our countryside can be so easily bought?

And if anyone is tempted to succumb to selling out for money, let me remind them of the consequences.

Income in the local economy will fall as council and business rate bands are reduced by residents claiming that their property values have been affected. Jobs dependent on tourism - and yes, that does include village shops - will go as visitors decide not to visit an industrialised landscape.

Electricity prices in the area will rise as the windfarm operators demand greater subsidies for their inefficient turbines. Planners, landowners who allow these structures on their property and the wind companies themselves will be caught up in litigation as those residents whose human rights are compromised start to sue.

John Bainbridge


11:00 - 22 February 2005
The third and last giant turbine has been put up at the Westcountry's latest windfarm, which is due to start generating electricity any day.

The turbines at Forest Moor, Bradworthy, North Devon, which are 246ft to their blade tip, went up despite vehement protests and warnings that it could open the way to many more.

Plans to build at the site sparked a fierce campaign of opposition from local people - but despite the application being rejected by Torridge District Council, it was approved at a planning inquiry.

Preparation of the site began in October, but the components of the turbines were not delivered there until last month.

The appearance of what campaigners against onshore wind turbines had fought against for so long prompted warnings that at last people would realise the impact that wind turbines would have on the Devon countryside.

Jo Foster, of the Bradworthy Lobby Opposing Turbines, said: "People haven't realised how big these things are. Now that they can see them for themselves, it will really bring it home."

Local district councillor Trevor Sillifant said: "I have always been opposed to this development, and I think Bradworthy is being used as a guinea pig."

Already plans are afoot for 20 turbines at Fullabrook Down which would be 360ft high - the largest in the Westcountry - and for anything between ten 328ft and 19 262ft turbines on land near North Tawton, between Crediton and Hatherleigh.

They would be erected amid heightened controversy over the cost and effectiveness of windfarms in producing renewable energy.

Members of Den Brook Valley Action Group, which is opposing a windfarm development in the North Tawton area, pointed out that the turbines proposed for their area would be 100 feet taller than those at Bradworthy.

Action group chairman Muriel Goodman said: "One can only imagine the sinking feeling and horror that the people of Bradworthy must be experiencing."

Speaking just after the erection of the first wind turbine, Noel Edmonds, chairman of the Renewable Energy Foundation, which is calling for better research into other forms of renewable energy, said the completion of the first turbine was a "very dark day" for Devon.

He added: "We had been forecasting it for some time and people are going to have to get used to it, unless we can change the Government's policy.

"The thing is that these machines do not even produce the efficient reliable energy they claim to, and they do not reduce carbon dioxide emissions."

The windfarm has also been erected amid warnings that Britain could be about to imitate what has been described as Germany's disastrous policies over windfarms.

Opponents say a rush for turbines could open the way to the "industrialisation" of the countryside.

An in-depth report in Germany, which has 15,000 turbines - the highest number in Europe - was this week revealed as so damning that the German Government had tried to suppress it.

It was sent back for "re-editing" because its findings are believed to be too embarrassing for German ministers, who want the number of wind turbines doubled by 2015.

But the study was leaked to the magazine Der Spiegel, instantly provoking a huge public backlash.

09:00 - 23 February 2005
Controversial plans for a £20million windfarm project in Argyll suffered a major blow yesterday after the developers pulled out of the scheme.

Angry objectors had claimed Powergen's planned 24 turbine windfarm, which was to have been sited at An Suidhe, on a plateau between Loch Fyne and Loch Awe, would have spoiled world famous views of Inveraray Castle.

Powergen said yesterday it was plain economics that had prompted its decision to back out of the development.

E.ON UK, the company that runs Powergen, had been intending to build the windfarm and sell the power under the terms of Scottish Renewable Order (SRO) contracts.

But Jason Scagell, Director of E.ON UK Renewables, said: "This remains an excellent site for a windfarm but, despite considerable effort and significant investment on our part, our contractual obligation under the SRO makes the scheme economically unattractive."

Mr Scagell added: "However, we're still keen to see the project developed, as we believe it can still make a substantial contribution to the Government's renewable targets.

"We therefore wish Forestry Commission Scotland (the site owners) well as they look for another company to take the development forward, and we'll continue to assist them where we can."

The windfarm proposal was the subject of an expensive public inquiry in Inveraray.

The Scottish Executive approved the plans despite objections from Historic Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and Avich and Kilchrenan Community Council.

Legal representatives were hired by the community council to present its objections to the inquiry, which went on for eight days.

Marilyn Henderson, secretary of Avich and Kilchrenan Community Council, said last night that she was angry that the company had wasted everyone's time and money, only to withdraw from the scheme.

Mrs Henderson said: "I am annoyed about the waste of money, we got money from all the local residents who objected and taxpayers' money was used for the inquiry as well."

She said she hoped another developer would not be found to build the windfarm, but feared that this may happen.

Argyll and Bute Council planning officials had recommended that the application, by Powergen Renewables, should be refused, but councillors passed the original plan by a majority vote. The application was then called in by the First Minister, leading to the public inquiry.

The Powergen proposal would have seen two people employed on the new windfarm, which the company estimated would also have been worth about £4million to the local Argyll economy in its construction phase.


Windfarm inquiry will go ahead in April

By Messenger News Desk <>

CONTROVERSIAL proposals to build the biggest windfarm in England on fells near Tebay will go to a public inquiry in April after the Department of Trade and Industry refused to adjourn the hearing following a request from a consortium of opposing local authorities.

The much-anticipated inquiry into the Whinash Windfarm will go ahead on April 19 on the proviso that applicants Chalmerston Wind Power Ltd supply extra information on the environmental issues surrounding the 27-turbine development over the next week.

A consortium of opposing local councils which includes Cumbria County Council <> , Eden District Council, South Lakeland District Council, the Lake District National Park Authority <>  and Yorkshire Dales National Park had requested that the inquiry be delayed by a one-month or until the autumn to allow them to sufficient time to scour the highly technical environmental documents.

They complained at the second pre-inquiry meeting held last month that they would have a little over a month to digest and respond to the information before all evidence for the inquiry had to be submitted to planning inspector David Rose by March 18. But the request was refused by the DTI who, in a letter to Mr Rose, said that nothing would be gained from adjourning the inquiry.

The DTI did however agree to consider another request for an adjournment if the extra information, which had been supplied voluntarily by CWP Ltd, was not submitted by this week.

But the information went on display at Cumbria County Council's offices in Kendal; Eden District Council's planning department at Penrith, the LDNPA's offices at Murley Moss and Shap Library on Monday.

Spokesman for CCC Justin Hawkins described the decision not to delay the inquiry as "very disappointing".

The consortium of councils is one of a number of "umbrella" groups fighting the £55 million project that will see 27 turbines taller than each standing taller than St Paul's Cathedral built on land between the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales national parks and alongside the M6 and the West Coast Mainline.

Other objectors including local residents, Friends of the Lake District and Cumbria Tourist Board <>  are currently preparing to battle a project they believe will scar the landscape and damage the local economy, and are confident of victory.

But CWP Ltd, who are spending around £500,000 on the inquiry, is also confident that it will be granted permission for the windfarm which will, it says, generate enough energy to power tens of thousands of homes and will actually boost the county's £1 billion-a-year tourism industry.

The inquiry will be held at Shap Wells Hotel and is expected to take between four and 16 weeks.

10:03am today


14:00 - 23 February 2005
The debate on what the Welsh people think about wind power stations continues (Have Your Say, February 3). The survey carried out by the market research company among a representative sample of Welsh people (of less than one per cent of the total population) covered a wide range of topics, among which were four questions that were asked before the two concerning wind power stations.

These were:

1. How concerned are you about climate change generally?

2. Climate change could have serious consequences for our way of life in Wales?

3. Climate change is not caused by human activity?

4. Which of these activities can contribute to climate change?

Since the general public's knowledge of these subjects is governed by what they see and read in the media, and since the popular media generally puts forward the view that CO? emissions are responsible for climate change, then it is not surprising that the greater majority of the respondents would echo that.

It is interesting to note that question four did not offer any alternative such as cyclical changes or sun spot activity.

Having posed these questions and created a mind set about impending doom, the survey then asked two very general questions about wind power stations.

1. What is your opinion of the Government's plan to build more wind farms in Wales on land?

A total of 45 per cent of 445 people were in favour - hardly a majority of the Welsh population.

2. What is your opinion of the Government's plan to build more wind farms off the Welsh coast?

A total of 55 per cent of 543 people were in favour - again, hardly a majority of the Welsh population. If the question posed had been, "What is your opinion of the Government's plan to erect 400ft high wind turbines within 500 metres of your house? or, "What is your opinion of the Government's plan to erect hundreds of 400ft high wind turbines in areas of natural beauty?" then one would expect a completely different result.

A famous person once said, "There are lies, damn lies and statistics". Any survey can be designed to produce the result that the designer requires.

B Anderson

Argoed Road