Lansley opposes local wind farm

Andrew Lansley is among campaigners who have opposed a wind farm in Cambridgeshire. It raises new questions about the shadow cabinets commitment to renewables.

Shadow Health Minister Andrew Lansley is among campaigners who have opposed a wind farm on the disused RAF Graveley site in Cambridgeshire.

The Cambridge News reported yesterday that the plans were thrown out by Huntingdonshire District Council. Last week, Andrew Lansley expressed his concerns about the plans. In a statement he said:

“Not only is it highly visually intrusive, but there are serious concerns about the disruptions that this would cause to the residents of Graveley. The turbine is less than 600 metres away from residential properties and, particularly at night, the low frequency noise generated would cause significant suffering for residents.”

But Claire Ryall of RWE, the company behind the wind farm, told Left Foot Forward:

“Modern wind turbines and well-designed wind farms are quiet in operation and, standing at the base of a wind turbine, a normal conversation can be held without difficulty. Most visitors to operational wind farms are surprised at how quiet the turbines are …

“The proposed Cotton Wind Farm is considered to be located sufficiently far away from nearby properties to ensure the amenity of local residents is protected. Noise was not raised as a reason for refusal by the Planning Officer in her report.”

This latest development is likely to reopen concerns about the Conservative party’s commitment to tackling climate change. Mike Childs, head of climate change for Friends of the Earth, told the FT last month:

“We were very pleased when David Cameron took on the green mantle, but we would have hoped by now that this would have permeated into the rest of the front bench. But you don’t often hear Ken Clarke talking about the importance of the low-carbon economy.”

A week later, Clarke was forced to retract comments that mainland Britain was “not suitable” for onshore windfarms while Next Left highlighted that: “None of the top ten Conservative bloggers believes the theory that man-made global warming is an established fact.”

The Telegraph report this afternoon that: “Wind turbines could be put up across the countryside without planning permission under Government proposals to cut red tape for environmentally-friendly projects.”

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