Putting lanscape before eyesore of 100ft wind turbine

First published in Letters

AN article entitled ‘Council’s ban on turbines criticised’ (Friday, 25 January) failed to provide any explanation of the reasons behind Hampshire County Council’s decision to oppose large wind turbines and wind farms on its rural land holdings.

As Friends of the Earth state in the article, ‘the debate on wind farm development must be balanced and informed’.

We are not banning single wind turbines that a school may wish to install to support learning in the classroom, it is the large wind turbines that can reach up to 100 metres high that we oppose, and which make up wind farms that can cover an area the size of 220 football pitches.

Large turbines are visually intrusive on the landscape and as landowners, we have a responsibility to ensure we protect the qualities of Hampshire’s beautiful countryside, and the quality of life of residents.

While it may be acknowledged that wind turbines can be less visually intrusive in the prairies, mountains and deserts of countries such as the United States for example, in Hampshire’s rolling hills, our rural land holdings, farm land, country parks, nature reserves or land earmarked for future housing needs, are much less suitable.

We are not idle, and already use various methods to tackle climate change – so much so, that we are exceeding our targets.

We have cut the carbon footprint of our buildings and hundreds of schools, installed more energy efficient streetlights across Hampshire, and produce energy from waste for 50,000 homes every year.

We are also exploring the viability of a district energy network in Winchester, and assessing solar farms on farmland.

I believe Hampshire should prosper, but it shouldn’t be at the cost of its environment.

Ken Thornber Leader Hampshire County Councl

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