Cllr Lewis Strange has often put forward his strong views against wind farms in the Rasen Mail. However in his latest letter (30 July) Cllr Strange does come out in support of ‘single, smaller turbines tied directly to an agricultural holding’.
This is a far more sensible approach to the issue. Many local farmers will be looking at the possibility of generating their own energy needs from these smaller turbines and will welcome the ideological shift signalled by Cllr Strange.
My view as a Liberal Democrat is that wind turbines and solar panels are not evil and should be used where local communities are not adversely affected.
Larger installations should go through the full rigour of local planning.
I am somewhat worried though that a local ‘NO’ decision could be overturned by a central government ‘YES’.
Cllr Strange is quite wrong though when he states that it is ‘the weakness of the coalition government has allowed these totally ineffective monstrosities to spread across much of Rural Britain’.
It is Eric Pickles MP, a Conservative minister, who has the ultimate say on planning decisions involving proposed wind farms such as Hemswell cliff.
I also point Cllr Strange to the parliamentary reply given by Eric Pickles MP on ‘Local planning and onshore wind’ which starts with these two sentences: ‘The coalition agreement pledged to decentralise power to local people and give local people far more ability to shape the places in which they live.
Through a series of reforms, this coalition government is making the planning process more accessible to local communities, because planning works best when communities themselves have the opportunity to influence the decisions that affect their lives.
If Cllr Strange wishes to criticise the coalition government on this issue – then he ought to acknowledge the Conservative role in agreeing policy and the direct role played by Eric Pickles in making planning decisions.
Perhaps Cllr Strange would have us believe that the Liberal Democrats laid down the policy on onshore wind power and the Conservatives meekly went along with it?
King St, Market Rasen