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Organisation Website http://www.fells.info
Contact Address CHAIRMAN OF FELLS,

Mr T Kimber Newton Hall, Whittington, Via Carnforth, Lancashire

Involved in wind farms at Berrier Hill, Hoff Moor

FELLS - Our Point of View

  1. FELLS is an association set up to fight the industrialisation of our landscape, especially by the construction of wind turbines wherever they would damage the beautiful countryside of the Eden Valley, the Lake District and the Lune Valley.
  2. The inspirational qualities of these and similar areas must be defended from harm. Britain is densely populated: its inhabitants need places where they can still enjoy unspoilt beauty, peace and quiet. For our local people, tourism is a key industry: ruining the countryside will significantly place its success at risk.
  3. For several decades, planning laws have largely safeguarded our countryside but the recent thrust towards ever more renewables has made it very much more vulnerable, despite enhanced of protection for designated landscapes and the UK’s ratification of the Florence Convention. There has been some deterioration, for example the appearance of high tension power lines and communication masts. But overall we have not done badly. We should not, today, allow wind turbines, which are large, aggressive, noisy, industrial structures, to spoil what has been saved.
  4. For a decade, Government had no clear energy policy. It accepted massive international commitments to reduce the output of greenhouse gasses. It sees ‘renewable sources’, and especially wind turbines, as a means of achieving these reductions. But its own figures show that the contribution of renewable sources can, at best, be small. It has failed to emphasise the importance of energy saving – though policies for, clean coal, gas and nuclear are, perhaps, now emerging.
  5. The last Government introduced Planning Policy Statements that replaced the earlier Planning Policy Guidance. These are weighted much more heavily towards developers than local communities. Regions and Local Authorities have to conform to them. However, all these instruments recognise that wind turbines can have a damaging visual impact, and accept that Planners must take this fully into account in deciding whether or not to permit them.
  6. In Lancashire and Cumbria, Planning authorities have under-valued this consideration, and allowed themselves to be persuaded by the flawed arguments of developers and environmental lobby organisations, who see only the claimed benefits of wind turbines and blatantly ignore their defects.
  7. Their defects are many. Wind turbines are only viable if the tax-payer provides a very big subsidy. They depend on the strength of the wind and so fail to generate power for up to 110 days a year: overall, electricity produced is well below 30% of installed capacity. They make only a minor contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gasses. They take up huge a area: for example, the biggest wind power installation in Britain to date at Whitlee near Glasgow has 140 turbines spread over a vast moorland area; but produces a minor quantity of intermittent electricity. By comparison a single nuclear power station produces 10 to 20 times as much on demand.
  8. Let us be clear. FELLS is not opposing wind turbines everywhere. In a more industrial scene, or well offshore, they may not be out of place provided their environmental impact is properly assessed and deemed acceptable. But they are quite unacceptable in our beautiful countryside. There, they must be stopped.