Friday, 02 November 2012 08:09

Council backs minister on wind farms

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Council backs minister on wind farms

ONE of England's largest rural counties has welcomed comments by a government minister who urged an end to the spread of wind farms across the country.

Energy minister John Hayes told the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph that 'enough is enough' and that wind turbines should no longer be 'imposed' on communities.

Mr Hayes was subsequently slapped down by his Lib Dem boss energy secretary Ed Davey, with a source telling journalists that Mr Hayes had "totally over-egged things".

But the minister's comments were welcomed by Councillor Eddy Poll, executive member for environment services at Lincolnshire County Council.

"It's heartening to have a senior minister so in tune with what people think. This is an issue the county council has been concerned about for some time.

Councillor Poll said the local authority was not calling for a blanket ban on wind farms – it had a duty to protect the environment and are in favour of renewable energy.

But he added: "There's been an invasion of wind farms across Lincolnshire in recent years, and we can't ignore the impact this is having.

"We need to make sure we balance our need for green energy against inappropriate developments that ruin the environment we're trying to protect.

Lincolnshire has been at the forefront of a drive by rural communities against the "unrestrained invasion" of wind turbines in the countryside.

A recent report suggested more should done to ensure communities affected by large wind farm developments can reap long-term benefits from such schemes.

The study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation examined the ways any negative impacts on communities could be redressed.

Urgent action was needed to ensure growing wind farm expansion is matched by help for neighbouring communities, it warned.

Councillor Poll said: "Wind energy is unreliable and costly. For that reason, we want to raise the bar even higher for anyone wanting to construct a wind farm in the county.

"To that end, we'll be carrying out a public consultation towards the end of the year with a view to making our position an official council policy."

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