FENLAND: Concerns voiced over wind turbine applications

PUBLISHED: 16:51 12 March 2009 | UPDATED: 08:56 02 June 2010

AS the spotlight falls on the issue of pre-determination of wind turbine applications, it put me in mind of events that happened in Oct 2002 when the first Fenland wind turbine, (Snow mountains Longhill Turbine) was approved by  Fenland District Council.

AS the spotlight falls on the issue of pre-determination of wind turbine applications, it put me in mind of events that happened in Oct 2002 when the first Fenland wind turbine, (Snow mountains Longhill Turbine) was approved by Fenland District Council.

Cries of "high quality job creation" and "we want these everywhere", echoed around the council chamber as councillors jostled to embrace and support this industrial revolution in rural Fenland, however, a lone dissident voice broke rank with an angry outburst, as the councillor retorted "it's cut and dried".

Such a public statement gave myself and others cause for concern, were we witnessing this so-called pre-determination? Did this councillor know something we did not? Was this an indication of things to come!

Seven years later, rural Fenland bears the industrial scares of political ambition and commercial greed, quality jobs have never materialised, but we have certainly got these every where.

Pre-determination of planning applications for wind or otherwise takes a swipe at the heart of democracy, it is an abuse of power that renders any public consultation or involvement in the planning process meaningless,

ALL wind determinations should be subjected to the same scrutiny, perhaps the formation of a "Residents Local Government Watchdog" maybe required in order for one to have confidence in local decision making.

Planning is in a mess as it allows developers to dictate planning policy and procedure, the only ray of hope that now appears from this absolute farcical, dangerous, and blunderous policy of Fenland wind development, is the shift in position of some members as they voice their concerns about the environmental damage that has been done to rural Fenland.

JOHN STONEMAN

Cambs Environmental and Wildlife Protection (CEWP)

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