CALL ON PM TO BACK WIND FARM BATTLE
A South Northants wind farm campaigner has called on Prime Minister David Cameron to back his party colleagues following this week’s spat over onshore wind farms.
During yesterday’s Prime Minister’s Question time Mr Cameron said his Government was still committed to renewable energy, including land based wind farms.
Mr Cameron reasserted the policy just 24 hours after Tory climate secretary John Hayes was slapped down by his Lib Dem boss Ed Davey after telling national papers that ‘enough was enough’ over onshore wind farms.
In a climate question and answer session South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom asked Mr Davey whether it was fair that after spending two years and thousands of pounds fighting a wind farm proposal, residents of Helmdon, Stuchbury and Greatworth should see a planning inspector overturn a local planning decision.
Mr Davey said he would not comment on a particular planning applications, but added: "I have made it absolutely clear with the DCLG the planning system needs to be more responsible to local communities, and I personally launched a consultation into getting greater community benefit for communities that host renewable energy sites.
Speaking to the Advertiser after the session Mrs Leadsom said: “I’m sick and tired of inspectors going against the wishes of the government with regard to planning localism.
“I will continue to press the government to make sure local views hold sway over the over-zealous planning inspectors. This doesn’t just apply to wind farms but to all planning issues. Local people should have their wishes upheld.”
Veronica Ward, from Greatworth, is a co-claimant with South Northants in a high court challenge against a planning inspector’s decision to overturn a decision by SNC to refuse Broadview Energy permission for five turbines at Spring Ridge Farm near Helmdon.
Mrs Ward said there seemed to be a ‘massive battle’ within Government over onshore wind farms and called on the PM to back fellow Tory ministers like Mr Hayes and Owen Patterson who have been publicly opposed to wind farms.
Mrs Ward added: “Suppose the local community did get more benefit out of a wind farm. That wouldn’t help the people whose lives are being ruined, whose houses are being blighted. It does not change anything.
“What would the benefit to be local community be? And it’s not windy enough here for them to make enough money to give to the community.”
Brackley & Towcester Advertiser – 2 November 2012