Countryside campaigners in Norfolk have said the government should not try to “buy off” homeowners who do not want wind turbines near their properties.

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Their call comes as Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary Ed Davey today suggested communities near to proposed wind turbine sites could be offered cheaper electricity or money for improved infrastructure.

The move is part of a new drive to reconcile the need to produce more renewable energy with people’s dislike of turbines; frequently demonstrated by campaigns in Norfolk and across England against them.

Mr Davey said: “Onshore wind has an important role to play in a diverse energy mix that is secure, low carbon and affordable. We know that two-thirds of people support the growth of onshore wind. But far too often, host communities have seen the wind farms but not the windfall.

“We are sensitive to the controversy around onshore wind and we want to ensure that people benefit from having wind farms sited near to them.”

Mr Davey said the government would carry out a consultation to gather evidence on how communities might best benefit from having turbines nearby.

The Government will also seek the latest information on the cost of onshore wind to confirm whether subsidies for new farms from April 2014 have been set at the correct level.

But those who have fought wind farms in Norfolk appeared suspicious of the move. Lucy Melrose was a part of the 4Villages campaign, which is awaiting a decision on whether three turbines on land between Rushall, Dickleburgh, Pulham Market and Pulham St Mary will be approved.

She said: “I can’t speak for everyone in the community. For the ones that I know, if they were asked whether they could be offered cheaper electricity or infrastructure to accept wind turbines the unequivocal answer would be ‘no’.

“People not close to a site may not care, that is a sad fact of life, but the government will not be able to buy off those who live near to proposed turbines.”

“It is as if they are saying they’re fed up of local communities standing up for themselves, they haven’t been able to beat campaigners off despite having the system stacked against them and so they are going to try another way,” she added.

Meanwhile the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), which has a branch in Norfolk, said the move was recognition that the government could not “ride roughshod” over residents’ concerns about turbines.

However Tom Leveridge, CPRE’s senior energy campaigner, went on: “We must make sure that this does not promote simplistic notions of ‘sharing benefits’ that amount to little more then paying off communities to secure planning permission.

“This would fundamentally undermine a core principle of the planning system, that planning permission should not be bought or sold, and put the countryside at greater risk from poorly sited wind developments.”

He added: “A genuine attempt to promote community engagement in the design, location and layout of wind farms should lead to a more sensitive approach to reducing the impact wind turbines can have on our beautiful landscapes.”

19 comments

  • Did anybody see this by the way? Plus the recent reporting of shutting down of some Germany's factories due to a blip in supply caused by....you guessed it. http:www.telegraph.co.ukcomment9559656Germanys-wind-power-chaos-should-be-a-warning-to-the-UK.html

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    Trevor S

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012

  • MickB1 You are correct, for a coal fired power station you need coal. You will therefore be disappointed to discover that for a wind turbine you need wind! And lot's of it. Your enthusiasm for wind power would diminish rapidly when you run out of candles on a dark calm winter's night. The rest of will be ok, we'll use nuclear, gas or coal!! This is NOT the future it's a scam designed to pay rich landowners money through carbon taxes on out utility bills. The one thing a money turbine generates is money, for its owner, the one thing it DOESN'T generate is any useable electricity.

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    windup

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • Sayitasitis In 30 years or so you will be the one on a dark cold winters night with No coal and No gas, it's running out.(didn't you know that) You could sit round a camp fire for warmth and light amongst the Nuclear waste dumps that will be radioactive for thousands of years. Wake up..!

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    MickB1

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • Sayitasitis In 30 years or so you will be the one on a dark cold winters night with No coal and No gas, it's running out.(didn't you know that) You could sit round a camp fire for warmth and light amongst the Nuclear waste dumps that will be radioactive for thousands of years. Wake up..!

    Report this comment

    MickB1

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • This Government must think that we are all thick now having to bribe us to accept these monstrosities. They are already a complete waste of money and a scam - imagine what they would actually cost if everybody was properly compensated for the loss in their property and business values and for the deterioration in their living environment - noise, health. visual impact etc. To object to these money machines please google "petition 22958" and follow the link.

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    David Ramsbotham

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

  • MickB1. Your argument is rather absurd because it ignores the fact that wind farms do not mean we don't need the same amount of reliable base load power. National Grid - you may have heard of them, they run the generating and distribution system - say that even if we built the max possible wind build by 2030 (23GW onshore and 51GW offshore) we would still need 30.5GW of NEW nuclear and some 36GW of new gas-fuelled capacity in order to keep the lights on. Se NG's 2011 'Seven year statement'; you might learn something about how electricity is generated and consumed.

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    NickL

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • MrT I'd like to see how discreet a location you can find in relatively flat Norfolk for the 2 x 420feet monsters planned for Scottow, for example. Or is a 380ft monster right behind Blickling Hall discreet enough? I'm willing to bet that 50% of the population of N Walsham are even aware of the highly successful solar farm there. You are right, there is no fuss for solar, compared with the dramas one turbine application can generate (about alll they generate! sorry, couldn't resist!), the reason is obvious, they are silent, efficient, invisible even a short distance away, and, apart from covering land, and I would agree it should not be arable land, there is no objection to them. So one form of onshore renewable enrgy is acceptable, and the other is also acceptable but only offshore. We're really not arguing about much!

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    Windless

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

  • How about you give people a choice? Either a couple of wind turbines in a discrete location or 71 acres of solar panels? Which is the greater monstrosity? I know what I would rather have. Do not see the outcry over the latest proposal for covering the countryside in these eyesores that we get over any wind turbine proposals.

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    Mr T

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

  • Mick B1 Okay, sorry, I was being flippant, not like me! However, you are wrong, onshore wind is still nothing more than a financial scam, let me explain. Sheringham shoal has 88 huge turbines, all offshore, barely visible, totally silent to those onshore, no light flicker, little risk to wildlife, ONE cable to the beach to connect to the grid. Dudgeon, off Cromer up to 176 turbines, see above for the rest, still only one cable, this one is also over the horizon so invisible and certainly silent etc. This is the way to do wind power. One, or two onshore, a complete waste of time, one connection to the grid per turbine, very little real power generated, 85% of the local population upset (to say the least), massive noise (see Kessingland) but lots of money for the greedy landowner, all paid by all whether or not they can afford to. AND our so called "Energy Secretary" Mr Davey thinks that more of these grossly unwanted things are a good idea? He must be replaced asap, he clearly is unsuited to his current job, also, BTW paid for by all whether or not they either can afford him or even want him??

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    windup

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • germany are building 29 coal fired power stations.presumably cos they work.

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    bookworm

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

  • Sayitasitis OK so you don't like clean power then. What would be your views if you had a Nuclear powerstaion or coal powerstaion at the side of your village, WOULD YOU REALLY prefer that, I guess the answer would be NO. At the end of the day Gas,Coal & Oil are History. move on and don't try and stand in the way of cleaner progess.

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    MickB1

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • Ian. Agree with most of your comments, however I believe that combining both options, wind and solar, then we are heading in the right direction. How efficient are solar panels or foggy days, full cloud cover, mist, sleet, covered in snow etc? I would suggest we have more of those days than we do no wind days, especially this year! I also notice that no one shouts about subsidies given to solar farms as they do wind generators, why? Can those who complain about subsidised industries or services state quite honestly that they never use any of them as it is against their principals? Doubt it. I suspect it is just because you do not like, or favour wind power. Discrete may not have been the right word, but then again are some of the monstrous buildings we develop discrete? Wind and Solar power are not the answer but can play a part, however small, towards the solution. We have probably had one of the wettest and windiest summers on the East coast for many years so I would suggest that wind generation has played a part in maintaining supplies. The wind farms we have offshore are certainly in the right place, but just what is wrong with also having a few onshore? The ones at Somerton have been there for several years and have just become part of the landscape. All I have ever said is that every application should be considered on merits, not just dismissed and campaigned against by people it does not have any impact on.

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    Mr T

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

  • This man is so far out of touch with reality he should immediately be replaced. Let me explain. "two thirds support onshore wind" The opposite is nearer the truth, in our area between 80 and 87% have objected to the N Walsham and the Bodham plans, hardly two thirds in support then. Secondly. How cheap does you electricity need to be to compensate for the loss of 20% of your property value should you be unfortunate enough to be near to one of these monstrosities? Thirdly, if there were NO onshore turbines the cost of electricity would fall as the absurd subsidies paid for these things would not be added to our bills, so by NOT having them, electricity becomes cheaper. He is also out of sync with his new masters, both the energy minister and the environment minister are both anti wind!

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    windup

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

  • Full technical illiterate Ed Davey need to be taught, and that can only be done by other than government sponsored experts andor advisors, that renewable energy is NOT part of a "diverse energy mix that is secure, low carbon and affordable". Nothing is further from the truth. This is nothing but EUIPCC sponsored bureaucratic sophism. Is this man truly stupid? Is he so out of touch that he has forgotten who are forced to subsidise these OBSOLETE industries of wind and renewables? We want CHEAP electricity from the proven sustainable portfolio of coal, syn-gas, shale gas and nuclear only. Read up about realisable and releasable energy densities, Mr. Davey. Read Page 16 of the 2005 Gov. published "Securing the Future" signed off by arch technical illiterate Tony Blair and then refresh that with Page 2 of the National Planning Policy Framework where both highlight the sustainable development guideline of "USING SOUND SCIENCE RESPONSIBLY". That does not mean running two generation systems in parallel and criminally wasting fossil fuels which future generations could use for their own needs.

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    Norfolk Dumpling

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

  • Bookworm. Britain can't build coal fired powerstation's in the UK, because you need Coal, and as you know the Tory Government destroyed the British Coal industry. There is nothing wrong with onshore Windfarms. I'm glad to see the progress away from the dirty power.(and for me that's unusual to say being an ex-miner) Bring on more Windfarms..it's the way forward..it's our future

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    MickB1

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • Great to see all of the sensible comments are coming from the anti-wind energy people. Spurious and naive comments still abound from Mr T I see. To say that wind energy has ' played a part in maintaining supplies' is factually incorrect and shows a misunderstanding of our current supplies. We currently have sufficient back up generation (demandable, coal and gas) to make wind irrelevant. How can he possibly think that without the wind energy that might have been produced, we would have suffered power cuts? Crackers.

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    Trevor S

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012

  • "Windfall"?! Mr Davey is obviously very ill-informed. He might try talking to people living near turbine projects. I lived on the edge of one project and saw over £1 million of tourism investment lost in the area - a direct result of the wind farm proposal. Would any sane businessman build a tourist business within 2km of an industrial wind farm park? The simple answer is no. Ask the owners of the caravan park near Knabs Hill WF, Yorkshire, who after being told by a planning inspector that there would be no effect on their business "lost £91,360.00 in pitch fee income, plus trading, plus caravan sales approx £400,000" after the scheme started up. We even see a wind company objecting to nearby tourist development because: "... this is a proposed holiday centre, where patrons would reasonably expect to sit outside to enjoy the relative peace and quiet of the countryside. [...] Noise from the permitted wind energy development will be very likely to provoke complaints, and this will place both the [NCC] Environmental Health Department and the wind farm operator in an impossible position: a complaint about noise could be found to be justified, and construed as a noise nuisance, even though the wind farm was operating lawfully within the constraints of its planning conditions." (Letter from Solicitors for the consented Green Rigg WF, objecting to an eco-tourism development in Northumberland which would have brought 106 temporary jobs and 67 full-time posts and c.£2m a year into the local economy).

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    NickL

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

  • I'm not going to argue which type of power source produces X amount of power and which generate X amount of money. It sounds to me like the main reason you don't want Windpower is that you are NIMBY'S and that's the only reason.

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    MickB1

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

  • It should be like set aside. We should pay people NOT to put up turbines. It would cost a lot less and generate just as much electricity.

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    Resident

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

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