LUFF PROPOSES LAW ON WIND FARM “BUFFER ZONES”

By stoplenchwickwindfarm | October 21, 2009

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.

Peter explained,

“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).”

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6 Responses to “LUFF PROPOSES LAW ON WIND FARM “BUFFER ZONES””

  1. JAMES BACON Says:
    October 24th, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    A well thought out proposal. It is a shock to learn that there is not at present any statutory limitation and that the 500m limit of which we had heard is not enshrined in law. There should obviously be a set limit – it must be reasonable to assume that a 125m high turbine should not be sited in the back garden of someone’s house! The limits proposed by Peter Luff are, I suggest, minimums acceptable. Personally I would like to see a 2km limit such as exists I believe in Scotland. But good luck to Peter on November 3rd. (From James and Christina Bacon).

  2. Christine & Peter Pugh Says:
    October 25th, 2009 at 8:44 am

    We whole heartedly agree with James & Christina’s comments. We shall be emailing Peter Luff ourselves with similar comments & concerns.

  3. AJW Powell Says:
    October 25th, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    This is a sensible and prudent step. There is increasing evidence of a risk to the health of those living close to these industrial turbines. A Dr Pierpont is shortly publishing a book on this very subject as a result of considerable research. Details can be found at http://www.windturbinesyndrome.com

  4. Howard Ferguson Says:
    October 26th, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Noise problems from industrial turbines located close to homes can be so severe that some homes which are affected by noise problems are rendered uninhabitable. Noise in one home which is 920 metres from the nearest turbine is so bad that the owner has been forced to abandon the home. An estate agent has refused to put it on the market because it has no value as a dwelling.

    Meanwhile the wind industry continues to use computer simulation to calculate noise levels predicted at homes which are close to proposed wind farms but these noise predictions do not predict amplitude modulation effects. An offset of 2km would provide people living close to proposed wind turbines with a measure of protection against financial ruin that can occur for a variety of reasons when wind turbines up to 500 feet are are built too close to them.

  5. David Insall Says:
    October 26th, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    At last commonsense is breaking through. My wife and I own a small hill farm and have devoted much of our lives conserving the habitat of rare birds including merlins, hen harriers, red kites, peregrine falcons and curlew, including improving the heather moorland and preserving an upland marsh.

    This year a greedy neighbour and his ‘camp followers’ have secured planning approval for massive turbines, the nearest 800 metres from our house, and likely to deface the landscape for many miles around.

    Please get this bill through and maybe those who accepted the developer’s ‘bribe’ of promised grants to local community funds will be shamed into withdrawing their support. The claimed emission savings have already been reduced from a scandalous exaggeration to half the original, after we complained to the Advertising Standards Authority. Nothing good derives from wind farms, except the cash rolling into the pockets of developers. They offer country folk mere crumbs as if they are dogs under the table.

    The bill deserves to be passed, releasing hundreds of people from a life of hell.

  6. John Temple Says:
    October 26th, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    I would definitely support the Bill. It seems to me that the proposals for distance do remove a significant argument against the siting of windfarms. This would make the planning process in some cases easier. It should not be forgotten that the “500 metre rule” was from a stage when the overall height of wind turbines was 50 metres.I have visited various sites but none where the turbines have been in excess of 100 metres high & there is no doubt they are vast industrial sructures which are only appropriate in very large open environments where distance can mitigate the awesome effects

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