Rt. Hon. Eric Pickles MP,
Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government,
House of Commons.
Kelmarsh Wind Farm Proposal at the Battlefield of NasebyI write to you as an MEP for the East Midlands Region including Northamptonshire, to appeal to you on behalf of my constituents in the region to look again at the recent decision of the government's Planning Inspectorate with regard to the E-On proposal to build a wind-farm at Kelmarsh, overlooking the historic Civil War battlefield of Naseby.
You will of course be familiar with the arguments. You will be aware that local opposition to the project is virtually unanimous, with a local action group, local councils and heritage organisations combining to condemn what amounts to an act of desecration on a hugely important and valuable historical site. If ever there were a case for the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to intervene and make a stand, this is surely it.
I am especially concerned that the proposal runs directly counter to the ideas of localism which the Conservative Party has done so much to promote. Our localism policies will be greeted with ironic laughter as long as these men from Whitehall can overturn the settled will of local people, without debate and without appeal. Whether or not you accept the pressing need to reduce CO2 emissions (and more and more scientists doubt it); whether or not you think that wind turbines can contribute to that objective (and the evidence points against it); surely an historical site of this importance demands special protection?
Government inspectors are riding roughshod over the objections of campaign groups across the East Midlands. I should perhaps declare an interest, because this is precisely what happened at Low Spinney in Leicestershire, and I now have four vast turbines within a mile of my home. Again and again we ignore the issues of visual intrusion, environmental damage, noise, reflection and flicker and the associated health issues, and the housing blight inflicted on local communities. We ignore the damage to local residents, lives, homes, families, villages. Are we also to abandon our historical heritage to the renewable obsession?
I call on you to respect the settled views of Northamptonshire people, and re-visit this appalling decision before it is too late.With best regards, Roger.
ROGER HELMER MEP