COLUMN: Edward Leigh MP - Fighting wind farms

Edward Leigh MP
Edward Leigh MP
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Many readers will have been affected by the recent rush of wind farm planning applications.

I have been heartened by the recent rejection of the application for the Normanby by Spital proposal. The latest application is in Osgodby parish, within the bounds of the thousand-year-old Kingerby estate, flanked by ancient woodland. Here the wind farm industry proposes to build a 67-metre-high turbine – the top just a few feet lower than the Church of All Saints, the famous “Ramblers’ Church”, in Walesby. Walkers along the Viking Way, in our splendid Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, will be able to look it in the eye as it stands a few miles away, standing hauntingly over the fields like some sort of H.G. Wells alien nightmare. The wind there is particularly fickle and unreliable, far below the norm for an efficient wind turbine, and so a single wind turbine will not be enough to make it feasible for the proposers. Instead, there will be a whole group of 67-metre-high turbines with their blades cutting across the blue sky. This valley is unusually unspoiled. It is a haven for wildlife and close by is an extensive English Heritage manorial and ecclesiastical site of national importance, together with the beautifully kept nature reserve at Kingerby Beck Meadows just a mile away. I think we have had enough of these giant wind farms which spoil our countryside.

As a keen rambler myself, I am opposed to this wanton destruction. I agree with the environmentalists that we need to preserve nature and the environment around us, but these wind farms blight our surroundings without giving us much energy in return.

They provide financial gain for private companies through subsidies at the expense of ordinary taxpayers. Of course, given that I and other like-minded MPs are trying to pressure the Government to spend its money more wisely, I hope these subsidies won’t last much longer.