Tuesday 20th October 2009
A piece of legislation to control the distance between wind farms and the nearest house is to be introduced into the Commons next month
Legislation backs VVASP campaign for a 2Km No Zone
Mid Worcestershire MP Peter Luff, who has been working with residents on the proposed Lenches/Bishampton wind farm in his constituency, will introduce the “Onshore Wind Turbines (Proximity of Habitation) Bill” on November 3rd.
Using the so-called 10 minute rule procedure, Peter will speak for up to ten minutes, making the case for his bill to proceed to the next stage.
“It is my limited intention to raise the aesthetic and environmental concerns associated with large wind turbines when they are located too close to homes.
“I happen to be a keen exponent of alternative and renewable energy sources, but feel strongly that onshore wind farms are only appropriate where their visual and environmental impact on open countryside is acceptable.
“Government policy on this issue is vague, giving little protection to local communities who have legitimate objections to the building of these turbines in their area. The companies appear to comply with a voluntary 500m “buffer zone” but this has no legal force.
“The onshore wind turbines proposed for the Lenches are 125m high – the equivalent of a forty storey building and half as high again as Big Ben – but will be located around 650 metres from houses. There is uproar in the affected villages!
“I had originally suggested a blanket one kilometre buffer zones, but after talking to local residents and my colleagues in the Commons, I will propose that smaller turbines should be at least 0.5 of a mile from habitation, medium sized ones a mile, and the largest turbines 1.5 miles.
“I hope that imposing these limits would lead to those applications coming forward being inherently less objectionable and therefore attracting less local opposition.
“It is a limited measure that makes no judgement about the merits of onshore wind, or on the bigger issues of climate change and targets for green energy. You can take whatever view you like on these issues and still see merit in my bill!
“It’s just intended to reduce the risks of these turbines being built unreasonably close to homes – unless, of course, the affected homes wanted them (perhaps because it is on their land and they will benefit financially).”