Why we need wind

In response to your article “Battle lines drawn over turbine site” (Gazette, October 17), we could have been forgiven for thinking this would be yet another “go” at the Array, or perhaps a revisit to Fullabrook.

But no, this was a reference to an application for a 35-metre mast by an organic farmer in Chawleigh.

Who draws these “battle lines”? Who conjures up the “controversy”?

Certainly not the applicant and certainly not the majority of those citizens concerned enough about climate change to welcome on and offshore wind energy as one plank in the liferaft that will wean us off fossil fuels.

First we are told that we don’t want them here: put them offshore. Then we are told, we don’t want them there either: put them out of sight entirely, please (under the ocean preferably).

Then we are told that the pro-wind lobby are “in bed with” the Big Utilities (joke of the century) and that these things should be small-scale and locally-owned. It’s actually a no-win situation (for some), not a controversy at all.

Talking of development prior to permission being granted, just up the road, or rather just downwind from us, there is something going on worthy of the film Avatar, which helps put the Chawleigh situation into perspective a bit.

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No, not a 35-metre mast to help render a precarious farming business more profitable, but a 400-acre land clearance, leaving North Somerset with the biggest hole in Europe in creating the site for Hinkley C nuclear power station.

Fair enough if that’s what you want, which I don’t – but the point is, the developers, insolvent and much-maligned French energy group EDF, have yet to receive final planning consent.

And even if they do, the only way it will go ahead in the absence of any private financial confidence is if the taxpayer, brokered by our friends HM Government, pick up the tab for de-commissioning and for any accidents. Now that’s a real controversy and one campaign for which there needs to be a lot more battle lines drawn up.

Ricky Knight

Bishops Tawton

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