Fighting the corner for my voters

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EDITOR – I reply to Peter Sanderson’s letter referring to the county’s policy on large wind turbine farms – it was to point out that Lincolnshire has already fulfilled its quota of wind turbine farms in relation to other counties on an area basis.

We do not say there should be no more, but what is made clear is that they should be in the right place and where they do not cause a blight on residents’ property or on areas where the landscape would be adversely affected on the grounds of visual impact. In other words, we should do all we can to protect special landscapes from developments which will, no doubt, promise much and deliver far less in energy saving.

The facts are that when the wind does not blow a back-up power station traditionally fired will still have to be available. What is rarely mentioned is that any power generated from turbines has to be transmitted to the national grid – and usually by pylons.

Would there be any wind turbines without the subsidy paid to developers to trouser? I doubt it.

Successive governments have shelved the issue for too long; we should have invested in a new batch of nuclear plants years ago, but it was too much of a political hot potato. The French did, and they are exporting to us.

Granted, Government and think tanks may come up with all sorts of guidance, including renewable issues, which also include solar panels, anaerobic digesters, thermal heat pumps, river and tidal power. All these should be examined in the mix with wind power, which I am told is many times more efficient at sea anyway.

At the end of the day land-based wind turbines are expected to add up to less than 10 per cent of those at sea – a fig leaf to the Liberals, who sadly, head up the Government’s green policy.

So that answers the question on my responsibility on green issues at the county council, alternative renewables. Already several large solar panel developments have gone, and are going, forward locally where farmers have made the decision to go solar rather than building turbines on their own holding, I know of one very large landowner who is very annoyed at the idea of the proposed huge wind turbines of more than 400 feet in height at Hemswell Cliff, and it’s worth remembering that his business might well have pursued a wind turbine application of their own.

I am a strong supporter of solar panels on roofs, gardens or fields, and bitterly regret that subsidies have been reduced. However it is my duty as the councillor, who primarily answers to the residents of the Ancholme Cliff division, to try to protect their interests, whether it be the visual impact and their quality of life, or the risk to the value of you property.

I would ask any estate agent whether it would be easier to sell a property in, say, Waddingham in the shadow of wind turbines or without turbines, and also the effect on the property’s value when a sale is completed.

It is for those and several other reasons that I’m doing all I can to work with the four groups in the area who are totally opposed to this unwanted development.

The unfairness of the planning system outlaws objections to these developments on the grounds of possible loss of property value, whether the development adds up on efficiency grounds, or even the view from your property.

In answering the figures quoted in favour of wind farms, were any of those contacted expecting an application near to where they live? I doubt it. If you ask the right people the right question you will get the answer you desire.

If you live in London wind farms sound a great idea, but then they will not be in the Londoner’s back garden. After soundings were taken throughout several of the villages in close proximity to the proposed development at Hemswell Cliff, showing a five-to-one objection rate to the proposed Hemswell Cliff development I realised I had the mandate to work with those likely to be affected.

As one West Lindsey district councillor said to me, ‘Lewis I love living near Hemswell, but we have few of the services that town dwellers have, and now they want to take away our wonderful Lincolnshire big skies. It is wonderful watching the sun set across the cliff top, but if there turbines are erected that special view will be cluttered with wind turbines’.

So there you have it Mr Sanderson, a councillor’s first duty is to his residents, and it is the same view that the Conservative group at county takes, to try to protect the well-being of all those within our boundary.

Lewis Strange

Councillor for Ancholme Cliff Division