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Campaigners hit back at Prescott

PUBLISHED: 11:00 27 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:42 06 July 2010

ANTI-WIND turbine campaigners last night defended their right to campaign against proposed developments in their communities after former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott launched a stinging attack on what he termed “nimbys”.

ANTI-WIND turbine campaigners last night defended their right to campaign against proposed developments in their communities after former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott launched a stinging attack on what he termed “nimbys”.

Mr Prescott criticised people who opposed wind turbines being set up near their homes and planning committees who upheld their objections.

Ahead of this year's Copenhagen conference on climate change and in his role of Council of Europe 'rapporteur' on climate change, the Hull East MP was announcing the inaugural Age of Stupid awards, named after the environmental film of the same name.

Revealing the award winners as planners in Bedford and the Isle of Wight, Mr Prescott added: “Stupid planning committee in Bedford, stupid planning committee in the Isle of Wight - I hope they get upset about it.

“We have to counteract the nimbys who say they want change, but not in their backyard.

“Two thirds of applications for wind turbines are being turned down by councils. The opposition forces are beginning to develop.”

Michael Windridge, who has been leading Hempnall's SHOWT campaign against Enertrag's proposal for a seven wind turbine development close to the village said: “Two Jags Prescott is Labour's environmental 'bovver boy', called in to put the boot into the tiresome nuisance of democratically elected planning committees having the courage to call the bluff of windfarm developers.

“His government's renewal energy strategy presents a serious threat to the security of the UK's future supply of low carbon energy because of its misguided reliance on wind-generated electricity.

“John Prescott is deluding himself if he imagines wind turbines are capable of providing a secure source of renewable energy.

“Wind turbines are notoriously ineffective because wind blows intermittently and unpredictably.”

Mr Windridge said using the government's own figures, all of the 2,400 wind turbines built in the UK generated just over 1pc of the electricity needed, less than the output of a single medium-size conventional power station.

Brian Kidd, of the Campaign Against Turbines at Shipdham and Scarning (Catts), said: “It's the sort of comment I would expect from Mr Prescott and it takes little account of the impact of wind turbines on the people living close to them.

“Some of these plans propose putting overwhelming structures near properties.

“There are right and wrong places for wind turbines. Bear in mind turbine developments make an enormous amount of money for the developer. The planning system may have its faults, but it is there to protect the public.”

And Bill Robinson, of Stop Turbines Ruining Our Lovely Landscape (STROLL) at Docking, said he was pro renewable, but the government needed to heed its own advice about balancing the need for renewable energy and finding appropriate locations in the face of concerns such as noise and tourism.

“The government will not carry the public forward with them on this issue if they fail to address real and demonstrated technical problems with development proposals.”


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