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UK — Bashing Wind

Environmental Research — July 30, 2012

A new report from the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) says on-land wind projects can threaten the ‘beauty and tranquility of much-loved landscapes.’ CPRE Chief executive Shaun Spiers, said ‘CPRE accepts onshore wind in the right places as part of the mix required to meet the UK’s carbon reduction targets, but we are seeing more and more giant turbines sited in inappropriate locations. Communities feel increasingly powerless in the face of speculative applications from big, well-funded developers, and this risks undermining public support for the measures needed to tackle climate change.’ He reiterated they were not against all wind turbines: ‘it is right that the countryside should play its part in supplying the renewable energy the country needs’. But he stressed that businesses and policymakers, ‘must find a way of reconciling climate change mitigation and landscape protection’.

The CPREs report ‘Generating light on landscape impacts: How to accommodate onshore wind while protecting the countryside’, calls on the government to provide more clarity on the total number of onshore wind turbines it expects will be installed, and wants the capacity of the landscape to accommodate wind turbines ‘without unacceptable damage’ to be formally taken into account in planning decisions. It also says the wind industry should be made responsible for decommissioning turbines and restoring the landscape once they stop working or when they reach the end of their useful life.

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