Wind energy? No thanks – we want to keep our nuclear option
Thursday 28 October 2010
As soon as residents living near Hinkley Point, on the west Somerset coast, were told that a 12-pylon wind farm was planned for their rural idyll, opposition was quick to grow.
The community had lived side-by-side with nuclear power stations for decades, but many drew the line at the prospect of adding a dozen 300ft turbines to their backyard.
"I didn't know much about wind farms, but when they try to dump one in the area you represent, you find out about them pretty damn quick," said Anthony Trollope-Bellew, the Somerset county councillor who represents the area. "The more I found out, the less I liked them."
What followed was extensive low-level asymmetric warfare. Parish councils held long strategy meetings. Local politicians were brought on side. Wildlife experts were consulted on the damage to the local bat and bird populations. Testimony was heard from people already affected by turbines.
Eighteen months later the campaigners trudged into a village hall with their attack honed: landowners were condemned for allowing the deal to go ahead; the proposed location was lauded as "one of the few relatively unspoilt stretches of coastline left in Somerset".
"It would have been an eyesore," said Mr Trollope-Bellew. "The industrialisation of rural England is not a price worth paying for something that only works 30 per cent of the time. There are places in Somerset with a lot more wind than Hinkley Point."
Eric Gibbins, 80, spoke on behalf of Holford Parish Council: "There was a bat colony on the site. We listened to people who complained about noise. There was also the constant vibration in the atmosphere, you can't ignore that."
It is thought that British Energy swung the council by warning that its nuclear workers could be hurt if the turbine blades flew off the pylons and hit them. Planning permission was denied.
A second attempt to push for planning permission was expected from the developer, Your Energy, but never materialised. Now, a new nuclear facility is expected to be located where the wind farm would have stood. While there are murmurs of discontent over the disruption the building work will cause, there is not the same level of opposition as was stoked up by the onshore wind turbines. Mr Trollope-Bellew said: "People had been living with nuclear power stations since 1960 with no problems and the nuclear stations were less visually obstructive. It rather sums up people's attitudes."
Dolphins ‘deliberately get high’ on puffer fish nerve toxins by carefully chewing and passing them around
Feed ducks frozen peas instead of stale bread, charity asks
Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Malawi to burn its £5m ivory stockpile this week - and demonstrate its commitment to wildlife conservation
Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 3 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 4 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 5 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will also work alongside their seasoned sa...
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking for your first step into...
£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This innovative company working...