8:16am Wednesday 22nd June 2011
By Telegraph & Argus
Our nation has some difficult decisions to make over the next few years as we look to new sources of energy. The question of wind farms is likely to be at the forefront of that debate.
Anyone travelling the countryside near Bradford will be aware they are becoming more prevalent all the time.
There is little doubt that when far out at sea they are a great asset with minimum visual impact and there is certainly an argument that we should be increasing the number of offshore wind farms, particularly in out-of-the-way places. But, inland, we need to look carefully at the visual effect of these imposing turbines on the surrounding countryside.
The question that has to be asked is: is the amount of electricity they are generating sufficient to justify any damage they are doing to the visual environment? For Richard Chadwick, whose recently-refurbished home is just half a mile from the site of a proposed wind farm, with four to six turbines, the answer would undoubtedly be No.
He, like an increasing number of people living near proposed turbines, is concerned about their impact on the visual amenity of the nearby countryside. He has every right to be concerned: these turbines are apparently set to stand up to 175 metres tall – higher than Blackpool Tower.
There is a real danger that too much of our beautiful countryside could be overtaken by these enormous – and noisy – structures which, in truth, add very little to most of the landscapes in which they are sited.
We have no choice but to find and harness renewable and alternative sources of energy and there is no doubt that we will need to find places to accommodate many more wind farms. But there is a balance to be struck. And if we can’t protect the beauty of most of our glorious scenery, who cares if the lights go out?
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