Some political groups have a problem with reality – it does not fit their ideology. Similarly they have a problem with public debate and democracy, which tend to hinder the passing of laws and regulations that cannot be backed up with evidence and rational argument.
On June 26th, with no prior consultation, Wiltshire Council voted through an amendment to Policy 42 of its Core Strategy Submission Document that will effectively prevent wind turbines from being built anywhere in Wiltshire. It was claimed that this amendment was based on safety concerns but these have absolutely no basis in fact or reality. This was an attempt at subverting democracy for ideological reasons.
Onshore wind is one of the safest forms of energy generation. There are no recorded cases of any member of the public being killed or seriously injured during the normal operation of a wind turbine.
Suggesting that safety was the reason for the amendment was, at best, disingenuous. (Click here for a fact and evidence based view of the safety issues)
Trying to slip the amendment through without consultation makes a mockery of the government’s ‘Localism’ agenda.
Luckily a planning inspector has told Wiltshire Council they must go back and consult the public.
If you would like to be involved in that consultation go to the Wiltshire Clean Energy Alliance and sign up to be kept informed about the process or just return here – I will post more information about the consultation when it is available).
There is obviously a debate to be had about siting of wind farms and some of this will be subjective but the technical side of the argument – safety, efficiency cost, environmental pros and cons etc., must be based on facts, evidence and rational debate not prejudice and ideology. Wiltshire Council have made a serious error of judgment in trying to slip through a doctrinaire policy amendment without consultation. It is up to us to ensure that this is not repeated.
Anger over wind power strategy (Salisbury Journal, 22nd Aug 2012)