Sunday, 20 December 2009


At some point in the next few months, Wychavon District Council will be receiving a formal planning application from ScottishPower Renewables for a five-turbine windfarm near Lenchwick in Worcestershire.

As it stands, the prospect is looking extremely good for supporters of the Lenchwick Windfarm.

For a start, there is nothing in the planning guidelines which currently constitutes a reason to turn down the application.

Wychavon DC has signed up to the Nottingham declaration, so it will be looking to fulfil its environmental commitments.

More to the point, the council knows that it will need GENUINE grounds to oppose the planning application if it is to avoid a terrifically expensive appeal.

If the Wychavon councillors were to turn down SPR's planning application on spurious or dodgy grounds (such as those advanced by VVASP), then it would most likely face an appeal from ScottishPower Renewables. This would cost tens of thousands of pounds of tax-payers' money.

On the other hand, if the council members approve the planning application - and there isn't really a valid reason not to - then the nimbies can appeal. BUT that would require a judicial review, which it is in the gift of the Home Secretary to approve.

Now, let's get real for a moment. Is the Home Secretary likely to approve a judicial review, just to please a bunch of barking nimbies who find it extremely difficult to be honest? Is the British Government likely to allow unnecessary delays to a necessary development?


So, here's the summary. The planning guidelines offer no prima facie reason to turn down the windfarm application. If Wychavon councillors do, they will be putting a huge amount of tax-payers' money at risk for no good reason.

If they approve the application, and the nasty nimbies of VVASP insist on challenging it, the Home Secretary will have to decide whether to allow a judicial review. Which is very, very unlikely.

The chances are, then, that SPR's planning application will be approved. The wind turbines will go up. And all the lies told about them by self-interested nimbies will turn out to be ... well, lies.

Game, set and match to common sense and the needs of the planet.

Meanwhile, in another blow to the nimby nonsense-mongers, a new study has concluded that windfarms do not create adverse health effects.

Published jointly by the American and Canadian Wind Energy Associations, and based on the findings of a panel of seven experts from the U.S., Canada, Denmark and the U.K. - experts in the fields of medicine, audiology, acoustics and environmental and public health - the report's executive summary indicates that:-

* There is no evidence that the audible and sub-audible sounds emitted by wind turbines have any direct adverse physiological effects

* The ground-borne vibrations from wind turbines are too weak to be detected by, or to affect, humans

* The sounds emitted by wind turbines are not unique. There is no reason to believe, based on the levels of and frequencies of the sounds and the panel's experience with sound exposures in occupational settings, that the sounds from wind turbines could plausibly have direct adverse health consequences.

It remains to be seen whether VVASP will take heed of the science for once.

Oh - and yet another study has concluded that windfarms have no measurable effect on house prices.

Merry Christmas, one and all!!!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009


Anyone who saw 'The Age of Stupid' on BBC4 last night might have had a rather spooky experience.

Yes, it's a remarkable film. Shocking, deeply worrying and only a determined climate change denier could fail to have been impressed by it. If you haven't seen it, please do. Climate change isn't a maybe. It's happening. And the consequences for us all, if we don't get a grip, could be truly terrible - and soon!

But one thing that really hit home was how ALL NIMBY GROUPS ARE THE SAME!!!

If you saw it, you'll have seen a group of middle class yahoos objecting to a windfarm in Bedfordshire. They told lies about it. They said some really stupid things about it. They even flew a blimp!! So maybe 'The Age of Stupid' is required viewing for VVASP. It does seem to be where they got some of their dafter ideas from.

But that side of the film was really depressing. The liars - just like our own homeground bunch - kept repeating the nimby mantra:

"We're all in favour of renewables - but only appropriate ones!"

The leading figure, a rather terrifying female, was questioned after the council met to consider the application. Oh, yes, we're all trying to do our bit for climate change, she simpered. I mean, everybody's got to, haven't they?


The film also showed how nasty such nimbies can be - but then, we already know that, don't we? Because once the VVASP ringleaders had spread enough ridiculous lies about the place, a number of locals really did go off the deep end, creating an atmosphere of fear and bullying.

VVASP likes to pretend that it's 'Pro-Renewables' (yep, just like in the film). But it's so 'Pro-Renewables' that it's now urging its members to oppose somebody else's windfarm. It's not just their own local area they seem to think is 'inappropriate' for a windfarm (a bizarre notion), they're also campaigning against a windfarm somewhere else. Presumably, this is on the 'you-scratch-my-back, I'll-scratch-yours' principle.

So, please, please, please, follow the link below and register your support for the Strensham windfarm planning application.

We cannot let a few liars and bullies dictate our energy policy.

We cannot let short-term self-interest determine long-term results.

We cannot afford to prevent windfarms. The government has plans for another 10,000 turbines nationally by 2020. By then, the UK will need to have cut carbon emissions by 43% - which will only be possible if the disgusting nimby groups which spring up everywhere a windfarm is proposed are ignored and overcome.

In the long term, VVASP won't win - simply because absolutely no one will win, unless sensible, progressive policies are adopted and windfarms get the go ahead.

Please follow the link below and say YES to Strensham:;jsessionid=C91FDD5A4B142E193502ACBA5081FDF3?appNumber=09%2F01189%2FFUL+&action=Search

Remember: it's not just the nutters who have an opinion. Those who care do, too.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009


According to Nigel Lawson, one time Chancellor of the Exchequer under Margaret Thatcher and now a leading climate change sceptic, there has been no global warming at all so far this century.

According to the Met Office and the World Meteorological Organisation, the first decade of the 21st century has been the hottest on record.

So - who's telling the truth? Those organisations with 160 years of detailed records at their fingertips? Or the father of a TV cook?

Going back just a few years, climate change was pretty well the preserve of scientists. More recently, as climatologists have grown more and more worried about the effects of carbon emissions and the other stupid things humanity has been doing to its home, the issue has moved into the political sphere.

Which means that there are people who just don't want to believe the evidence, whose cosy (if rather simplistic) economic theories have no place for man-made climate change and the kind of response needed from governments and individuals around the world, and who would rather pretend that everything is just hunky-dory (as long as they're still making money).

And then there are those who are still using their eyes and ears - not to mention their brains.

It's uncomfortably similar to the windfarm debate. You can accept the science, or you can make grand, sweeping, unsubstantiated statements.

To put it another way, you can acknowledge that modern windfarms are graceful, quiet and efficient. Or you can make up and spread a lot of lies about them. You can take the sensible route, or you can take the VVASP route.

Whether it's man-made climate change in general or the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm in particular, there is a wholly specious debate going on, as those with a vested interest in opposing vital, necessary steps spout endless rubbish while others recognise that we share responsibility for the future of our nation and the planet.

What cannot be denied is that there is a global scientific consensus that climate change is happening, that it is fuelled by reckless human behaviour, and that if urgent measures are not taken very soon the outcome could be catastrophic. And there is also a small but noisy lobby, largely funded by fossil fuel interests, which is trying to claim that none of this is happening.

The Conservative Party is all at sea over this. As Peter Luff MP has amply demonstrated, their worship of self-interest prevents them from grappling with the communal nature of the problems we face and the solutions we need to adopt. It should come as no surprise that a former Tory Chancellor is now pushing the theory that there has been no warming at all in the past decade, while the experts produce evidence to the contrary.

Now, freedom of speech is precious. But when certain people and parties abuse such freedom in order to spread lies (about the climate, about windfarms) then they are risking our futures and deliberately setting out to confuse the electorate.

When you consider what's at stake - rising global temperatures, changing weather patterns, hundreds of thousands already dying because of climate change and the potential devastation to come - you really have to wonder why some people are trying so desperately to deny it all.

Maybe The Times's Eureka magazine (Issue 3: December 2009) put its finger on the problem. Apparently, a lot of it has to do with herd instinct.

If your neighbours are doing nothing to help the situation, then you'll be less inclined to do your bit.

Or, as we've seen in the Lenchwick area recently, if a few noisy, self-obsessed individuals are prepared to tell loud lies about windfarms, their neighbours are quite likely to join in.

So it behoves us all to take a more intelligent, more reasonable and - if necessary - more individual stand against the deniers and against the nimbies. All it takes is for people to wake up, examine the evidence for themselves, and refuse to be dragged down by their more arrogant and aggressive neighbours.

Then, at long last, common sense can return to the Lenchwick area - when the confusion caused by nimby lies is finally dispelled. Roll on that beautiful day.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009


Given the heated nature of the windfarm debate - the hysterical, bizarre and unsubstantiated claims, the intimidatory tactics, the lies, rumours and those ghastly eyesore placards* - one thing is for sure. What we could do with around here is some calming influence.

Well, here's the good news. It comes from Ardrossan in Argyll, a notably tranquil and picturesque part of the country.

Twelve wind turbines started work there in 2004. Initially, when the plans were proposed, there were some local concerns. After a year of the windfarm's operation, however, a local councillor wrote:

"The Ardrossan wind farm has been overwhelmingly accepted by local people - instead of spoiling the landscape, we believe that it has been enhanced. The turbines are impressive looking, bringing a calming effect to the town and, contrary to the belief that they would be noisy, we have found them to be silent workhorses." (

A calming effect ... silent workhorses ... a landscape enhanced ... overwhelming acceptance ... and this from someone who knows, from experience, what it's like to have a 12-turbine windfarm nearby.

So why, we might wonder, if Vale Villains Against Scottish Power are so keen to provide information to the community about these things, have the comments of the Ardrossan councillor not been publicised by the anti-renewables fanatics? Surely they count as information, and a relevant addition to the debate?

And, while we're on the subject, how many members of the VVASP committee haven't yet managed to visit a windfarm (let alone the wider membership)? Campaigning against something you know nothing about and have made no effort to understand is a bit dumb, isn't it?

We could all learn a great deal from the people of Ardrossan. Like - let's get on with our lives, and we may well be pleasantly surprised at how the Lenchwick Windfarm enhances the beauty of the natural landscape while silently creating clean energy for people's homes.

* NB: this accounts for the behaviour of the protesters. On the other side of the debate, there has been some genuine fact-finding and a fair bit of tutting at the idiocy of the nimbies.

Monday, 30 November 2009


As our occasional visitor, "windturbines", has indicated, a Non-Governmental Organisation by the name of Environmental Protection UK has called for updated guidelines on noise on the grounds that wind turbines are much bigger today than they were when the Government's guidelines on noise were established back in the '90s.

Naturally, this is being sold by anti-windfarm nimbies as a campaign against bigger, noisier wind turbines.

But, as usual, the way the nimbies interpret these things might be slightly at odds with what's really going on.

Environmental Protection UK has published on its website some correspondence with Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, Minister of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Lord Hunt wisely, and rightly, points out:

"You're quite right that modern turbines are generally larger than those on which the ETSU-R-97 guidance was based. Noise outputs from these larger turbines have also, however, reduced in that time. Since the ETSU-R-97 derived noise limits are a function of background noise, there is currently no evidence to suggest that the larger turbines are any more likely to cause a noise impact than earlier and smaller designs ..."

In other words, given that modern turbines are considerably quieter than the early designs on which the Government's guidelines were based, there is hardly a prima facie case for revising the guidelines on the grounds of noise.

But the nimbies want people to think that bigger turbines equal more noise. It's not true - in fact, it's the opposite of the truth. By spinning the news, however, the nimby brigade, VVASP included, reveal their deep-rooted dishonesty.

Environmental Protection UK seems to be calling for the guidelines to be revised simply because they are a few years old now. That doesn't mean that they're out-of-date, seeing as they were devised before advances in wind turbine design did a great deal to reduce the noise output from modern turbines so that - as anyone who has spent time at a modern windfarm will know - there's hardly any noise at all, and certainly nothing that can be heard a few hundred metres from the masts.

The NGO continues to support windfarms as part of the necessary national move towards renewables and sustainable energy. Reading between the lines, Environmental Protection UK seems to want new guidelines to help put people's minds at rest, and consequently to reduce the crazy amount of time that is currently wasted in fighting windfarm proposals.

But let's be clear. Environmental Protection UK is NOT stating that modern turbines are noisier than the older variety. That would be a foolish claim to make.

Which is precisely why nimby groups are making it.

Friday, 20 November 2009


Following on from last week's letter in the Evesham Journal, which tried very hard to convince people that climate change might not really be happening, a small consortium of informed, wise and concerned citizens sent in a measured reply.

The substance of Dr Dine's original letter was drawn from the ramblings of a former weatherman in the US, a guy called Art Horn, who has found a new role for himself. He now gives talks in the hope of convincing American waverers that the whole climate change-renewable energy row has been whipped up by certain industries looking to make a fast buck.

Anyone who believes such a monstrous thing is fooling themselves.

Naturally, such climate change denial plays into the hands of the anti-windfarm nimbies, who will clutch at any straw going to justify their unnecessary, thoughtless opposition to the proposed Lenchwick development. And, given the hot air that has risen like a cloud over the Lenches ever since ScottishPower Renewables announced that they were surveying the area for a possible windfarm, more misleading nonsense really is the last thing we need.

In contrast to the biased noodlings of Art Horn and his isolated followers, there are the considerations of Dr James Lovelock, the esteemed British scientist who first came up with the Gaia theory (the Earth is basically a self-regulating organism). Alternatively, you might like to pick up a copy of New Scientist magazine, where the scientists are sounding increasingly scared about climate change and angry about the failure of politicians and the media to get the message out there.

As this lecture of Dr Lovelock's makes clear (, real scientists are no longer being all that sanguine about man-made climate change. To put it another way, they're terrified. They have peered into the abyss - the genuine, imminent threat of global catastrophe - and they realise that urgent, far-reaching action is desperately needed. It is long overdue. And cretinous "It's not really happening" arguments, like those advanced by Art Horn and Dr Dine, do nothing but confuse people, creating the pretence that we have nothing to worry about.

The truth is, we should be more than worried. We should be reaching out for solutions, gladly embracing anything that might defend us against the horrors of climate change as anticipated by the majority of international scientists.

The situation is clear. While a small number of muddle-heads and busy-bodies try to hoodwink the general public, the global situation is worsening and the outlook looks increasingly desperate. And while all this is going on, Boycies all over the country are regurgitating lies and ludicrous nonsense in the hopes of avoiding having a windfarm near them.

With the facts as they are, these people cannot be allowed to succeed. Windfarms, like the relatively small development at Lenchwick, are a vital part of the future. Other countries have realised this, and it's really only in the UK (where a generation has grown up believing that a bit of money excuses you from social responsibility) that deranged nimbyism is holding up the implementation of an elegant and effective solution to this pressing problem.

There is no excuse - there can be no excuse - for opposing a modern, safe, near-silent windfarm in your local area. No amount of lies can alter the facts.

We need that windfarm, and hundreds - nay, thousands - like it. The objections raised by the self-centred protesters of VVASP are specious. The reality, as acknowledged by noted scientists, is so grim that such self-serving behaviour constitutes a crime against humanity.

So three cheers for those individuals who wrote to the Journal to expose Dr Dine's letter as being based on the shoddy 'science' of a passionate deceiver.

Will those same individuals now stand up to trumpet the Lenchwick Windfarm and denounce the muppets of VVASP as misguided, deluded and dangerously out of touch?

Monday, 16 November 2009


Faced with a man-made problem, the consequences of which could, and almost certainly will be, devastating, it's tempting to stick your fingers in your ears and go, "La, la, la, la, I can't hear you!"

What's interesting is that a minority of scientists are trying to get us all to do this.

Now, we know from the Lenchwick Windfarm fuss, and the behaviour of VVASP, that being a scientist doesn't automatically mean that you'll take an objective, rational position based on quantifiable evidence. Some people with scientific backgrounds do the exact opposite, digging up and publicising so-called "facts" which they know to be untrue.

Maybe that's just human nature.

But there really is no excuse for the sort of "scientist" who tries to persuade us all that man-made climate change isn't happening. That's extremely dangerous, irresponsible and morally unforgiveable behaviour.

Take the letter in last week's Evesham Journal. There's little point in going into every statement the author made, so we'll just focus on one of them - the one intended falsely to reassure that soft, emotional part of us that feels rather sorry for polar bears.

Polar bears, of course, have come to be rather symbolic of the plight of the natural world in the face of mankind's thoughtlessness. But according to Dr Tom Dine, writing in the Journal, we all seem to be getting worried about nothing.

Dr Dine tells us that the polar bear population had fallen to around 5,000 in the 1960s. It now stands at around 25,000. So - where's all this global warming, then?

Superficially, the good doctor's facts are true. Thanks to hunting, the polar bear population was in a parlous state in the 1960s. So a hunting ban was implemented in 1973. And the polar bear population quickly began to recover.

Note - nothing as yet about climate change. The near-collapse of the polar bear population, and its subsequent recovery, had nothing whatever to do with climate and everything to do with another sort of despicable human activity followed by a sensible, long overdue international agreement (sound familiar?).

So why has the International Union for Conservation of Nature warned that, "If climatic trends continue, polar bears may become extirpated from most of their range within 100 years", noting that eight out of 19 subpopulations of polar bears are declining and only one increasing (figures far worse than they were four years ago)? Why has the US Department of the Interior listed polar bears as a Threatened Species? Why has Russia listed the polar bear as a 'species of concern'? Why is the US Fish and Wildlife Service worried about the declining polar bear population in Canada's Hudson Bay? Are they all part of some crazy conspiracy?

The reason is well known to us all. As the polar ice cap melts at a rate faster than that predicted by scientists, the polar bear's natural environment is vanishing. And that IS a result of climate change.

What Dr Dine has done is gathered up some statistics and brazenly bandied them about without bothering to put them in context. This is the classic scientific approach to pulling the wool over everybody's eyes.

Or, to put it another way, a few scientists, rejecting the consensus of their peers, are trying to tell us that the obvious is something else. There can't be such thing as climate change because there are more polar bears in the world now than there were forty years ago.

That argument can only be sustained if you don't tell the whole story. And that's the problem with climate change deniers (and anti-windfarm loons). They'll selectively pick a couple of bits of information and carefully avoid letting you know the rest. Just to bolster their silly, and horrifically misguided, views.

So ... who's betting on a white Christmas? You know, the sort we used to get all the time?

Or are our warmer, wetter winters just another example of climate change not happening?

Get real. We're in trouble. And so are the polar bears.

Whatever you do, don't listen to those "scientists" who keep trying to tell you otherwise.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009


The 2km campaign is a dead duck.

It's not difficult to work out why. Firstly, it would obviously preclude the erection of wind turbines near built-up - i.e. urban - areas. Now, while a few clueless nimbies continue to whine things like, "They should put them on the edges of towns!" (Wake up, guys - they already are!), Peter Luff's moronic bill, if it did make any headway, would put a stop to that. So where are the thousands of wind turbines required to reduce the UK's carbon emissions going to be sited, then?

Yep - in rural areas. Not such a bad thing, when the CPRE, National Trust and RSPB are already arguing in favour of wind energy. But hardly what the VVASP quidnuncs had in mind.

Secondly, and more importantly, the braindead 2 km campaign would effectively put a stop to wind energy generation in mainland Britain. Which would mean that a handful of nimbies had ensured that the lights will definitely go out.

The fools and fibbers of VVASP may have trumpeted Peter Luff's brainless bill, but another local MP has already stood up to oppose it. Martin Horwood, Lib Dem MP for Cheltenham, has challenged the gormless 2 km campaign launched by Luff and a few other anti-wind Tories, indicating just how unworkable and ill-thought-out it is. While Dave Cameron's Conservatives struggle to come up with a clear energy strategy, the Lib Dems have already called for 30% of the UK's electricity to be generated by renewables.

Within the next few years, wind turbines will be generating more electricity for Britain than nuclear power (so much for the cretinous argument that windfarms "don't work"!). As existing coal and nuclear power stations are phased out, increasing emphasis will be placed on renewables to provide us with the energy we need.

Luff's bill would of course throw a large and particularly thick spanner in the works - and unless several new nuclear power stations could be commissioned in record time (never mind the costs), the UK would be unable to cater for its domestic energy needs.

Thanks, Peter - and all those self-important nimbies who created the problem.

When BBC Midlands Today visited Burtonwold Wind Farm a week or two ago, a local councillor explained how the anti-wind lobby, composed of nuclear apologists, neo-fascist climate change deniers and a few Neanderthal homeowners, had repeatedly lied about the impact of windfarms. Villagers living a few hundred metres from a ten-turbine windfarm - soon to become a 17-turbine site - had experienced no problems and hadn't objected to the additional seven turbines. And why should they? There's nothing wrong with them.

Luff's law would presumably mean that Burtonwold, along with other successful windfarms, would be forced to shut down. All because of a few selfish twits in the Lenches. You know the sort.

Britain's energy policy - sustainable or otherwise - would be thrown back to ... what?

We don't even know if clean coal technology is going to work. Gas is both massively inefficient and politically dangerous. Nuclear costs too much and won't be ready in time (and even Ed Miliband admits that the next generation of nuclear power stations will only be a stopgap).

So if Luff and his nimby puppet-masters had their way, the UK wouldn't even have an energy policy.

Supporting the laughable 2 km campaign is like voting for a return to the Dark Ages. Of course, we'll know who to thank when the lights go off, our freezers defrost and computers can't power up - it'll be those who lied to us repeatedly about wind turbines. And we'll look at our European neighbours - Spain, Denmark, Germany - who are happily getting a large percentage of their domestic electricity from windfarms and we'll wonder how we could ever have been so stupid as to let a few self-centred liars lead us up the garden path.

The reality is that being upwards of half a kilometre from a wind turbine is no hardship - unless you decide to make it one.

Whereas putting electricity generation in the UK on hold just to satisfy a few demented nimbies will mean hardship for us all.

So which would you prefer? Clean, green energy, harmlessly generated, or blackouts?

Think about that before you decide to join the dimwits and their preposterous, fraudulent, nonsensical "2 km OK" campaign.

Monday, 9 November 2009


"What is a cynic?" wrote Oscar Wilde. His answer - "A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing."

It is typical of the cynicism of the nimby campaign in the Lenches that they would assume that someone is paying for this blog.

They simply cannot understand that principles come before cash - that's just not the world they live in.

Money is what lies behind the nimby nonsense and the utterly dishonest VVASP campaign. Money invested in buying and developing properties in the area - although in no way threatened by the proposed windfarm - is what has inspired and governed the anti-windfarm waffle. Money, and a basic misunderstanding of what the windfarm would involve, has led to the barrage of lies, silly rumours and monstrous scare stories peddled by irresponsible and self-serving protesters.

Councillors around the country have noted a gradual increase in complaints and objections to perfectly reasonable, beneficial developments. These complaints are almost universally fatuous in nature. Basically, wherever it is, and regardless of what is proposed, a small, misguided and fundamentally selfish minority decide that they're going to object.

To put it simply, they just don't want it (whatever it is). They then set about conjuring up some supposedly justifiable reasons for objecting.

In the Lenches, this took the form of regaling the locals with all that total claptrap about windfarm noise, infrasound, threats to wildlife and - the most irresponsible and maniacal claim of all - that the windfarm would harm house prices.

All lies. All nonsense. All designed to make the nimby's opposition to a sound development seem reasonable.

Well, now, of course, the nimbies have settled on their argument. A few people will be living over half a kilometre from the turbines (that's well over a quarter of a mile away). So the nimbies are now pretending that their irrational opposition to the windfarm has nothing to do with self-interest, unscientific stupidity and the strange belief that if you don't want something beneficial nearby you can stop it happening, and everything to do with the plight of a tiny number of people who still won't be inconvenienced by the windfarm.

The "they're too close" argument is every bit as bogus as all the other crap spouted by VVASP - although Peter Luff has weighed in on this one, proving that the Tories don't actually have a proper policy on renewable energy and still tend to prize private wealth and selfishness above the greater good.

Meanwhile, the government is moving to alter the planning laws. The reasons for this are simple: too many necessary developments are being held up by selfish nimbies lying their heads off and objecting to they know not what. Such depressingly predictable nimby behaviour is bad for Britain, bad for the environment and very, very bad for the future.

When you've got so many dishonest, disingenuous campaigns around the country, getting in the way of progress and the national benefit because a few people don't like the idea, you're in trouble.

Lying about these things (as VVASP have consistently done, and continue to do) doesn't help. It clouds the issue, and promotes mindless opposition to vital schemes.

And, let's face it - if the nimbies have been so prepared to lie about noise, house prices and all the rest, why shouldn't they lie now about their fake concern for a few dwellers in Sheriffs Lench?

The kind of person who assumes that anyone in favour of the Lenchwick Windfarm (and totally opposed to the crazy abuses perpetrated by the frauds of VVASP) is in hock to ScottishPower Renewables is obviously the sort of person who can't be relied upon to present a balanced argument about anything at all. They have simply demonstrated how severely limited their understanding of important issues can be.

So the lies continue, altering their nature to appear to be based on good neighbourliness and genuine concern. But a lie is always a lie, and a cynic remains a cynic.

And the UK is drowning under the deadweight of selfish nimby nonsense.

But hopefully, not for much longer.

(Don't forget to get your letter of support for the windfarm ready - see the post below this one.)

Tuesday, 3 November 2009


This could be a big month, as we anxiously anticipate the arrival of ScottishPower Renewables' planning application for the five-turbine Lenchwick Windfarm, while Peter Luff MP (who less than a year ago was warning of electricity shortages if we don't get our energy strategy sorted out) fights a rearguard action on behalf of a handful of nimbies.

Next month, the eyes of the world will be on Copenhagen, as we wait with baited breath to see if politicians can agree on plans to cap global warming. We in the Vale of Evesham have a chance to show the world's leaders how ordinary citizens can embrace a better future. But we will be stymied if we allow the arrogant loudmouths of VVASP to continue to dominate the argument.

Let us not forget that Vale Villagers Against Scottish Power have spread no end of lies about the wind turbines. As BBC Midlands Today demonstrated so recently, the reality of modern wind turbines is very different from the looney stories bandied about by the 'me-me-me' nimby brigade. The same protest group has hogged the media, littered the area with ugly placards and endeavoured to overturn local democracy. But worst of all, they have lied.

The best thing that those of us who share concerns about the future, who desire effective green solutions to the pressing problems we all face and who have felt despair at the viciousness employed by nimbies to whom the view matters more than the planet - the best thing we can do is write to Wychavon District Council's planning department, the moment SPR's planning application arrives, to emphasise our support for the windfarm development.

The more letters of support the planning committee receives, the more they will feel justified in taking the right decision.

There's a lot at stake, here. Will the future be determined by a few grasping speculators or by the will, and the needs, of society as a whole?

You can help determine the outcome by writing a letter, along the lines of the following. Please feel free to copy it out, or email Wind of Change if you wish to receive a copy of the letter of support by email attachment.

A letter like this could make all the difference - and the more the merrier!


Mrs Gill Collin,
Head of Planning Services,
Wychavon District Council,
The Civic Centre,
Queen Elizabeth Drive,
WR10 1PT

Dear Mrs Collin,


I am writing as a local resident to express my support for the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm development.

Like many others in the area, I have been horrified and dismayed at the reactions of a small number of locals to the plans. The protesters have sought to mislead people by spreading ridiculous lies and rumours about the impact of a modern windfarm on the area.

I believe, however, that we all have a duty to future generations, and to the environment which is home to us all, to take the necessary steps to reduce carbon emissions. I also believe that renewable energy supplies are vital to the local, national and international interest, and that the wild claims made by the anti-windfarm protesters have been motivated purely by self-interest. The benefits of the proposed development, in my opinion, massively outweigh the purported disadvantages to a tiny minority of residents.

I therefore wish to add my voice to the many who sincerely want the Lenchwick Windfarm to go ahead, regardless of the specious arguments of the anti-windfarm lobby, and am therefore eagerly registering my heartfelt personal support for the proposed windfarm development.

Yours sincerely,


Sunday, 1 November 2009


Over the course of the windfarm 'debate' (when has there been any debate?), Wind of Change has been rather critical of the local media. True to type, a nimby sneezes and it makes the front page. Supporters of the windfarm point out that the nimbies have been lying their heads off ... and no one takes any notice.

But on Friday last, BBC Midlands did us all proud with a properly balanced piece of journalism.

The item was inspired by Peter Luff's misconceived campaign for a minimum distance between wind turbines and residential properties. But, rather than featuring a group of hideous nimbies spouting their usual drivel, the editorial team actually sent a reporter to a working windfarm to find out what they're really like.

The one chosen was Burtonwold Windfarm, at Burton Latimer in Northamptonshire. Assiduous followers of this blog will know that Wind of Change is familiar with Burtonwold - a ten-turbine windfarm situated less than 1 km from the nearest village and which has recently secured planning permission for a further seven turbines with no opposition whatsoever from the locals.

The reporter stood immediately underneath the blades of one 100-metre turbine, chatting away happily to the camera. Was the turbine noisy? Er ... that's a big NO, of course.

(Don't forget, the nimbies have turned the world of science on its head in order to pretend that wind turbines get noisier the further away you are!!!)

Next, the reporter interviewed a local councillor in the local village, just 800 metres from the turbines. This councillor pointed out that the turbines could not be heard, that all this lunatic talk about wind turbines being noisy was just dishonest claptrap, and that the turbines have been nothing but good news.

Cut to a tiny group of miserable looking nimbies in a garden in Sheriffs Lench, their only comment being that the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm would be "too close" to peoples' homes.

The person who made that remark appears to be in the process of moving from a village that is barely affected by the proposed windfarm to an address which is about as close to them as anybody. Naturally, the entire world should be required to back off and stop implying that climate change is going to destroy everything, because this person doesn't want a turbine nearby. End of argument.

But not only was the BBC Midlands news broadcast informative, and the biggest breakthrough in local news reporting since the windfarm issue arose, it was also subtly subversive in a way that the BBC used to be but seldom is anymore.

By highlighting the fact that the anti-windfarm protesters have sold their neighbours a bunch of total hogwash about wind turbines, the news report delicately raised the question, "What is Peter Luff's campaign really all about?"

It's not about noise, which is a non-issue. Neither is it about all those freaky, hard to identify noise issues which the protesters are so fond of moaning about, because they don't really exist.

It's not about damage to wildlife or the countryside, because there won't be any. It's not about impact on house prices, because that's yet another issue which VVASP have lied about.

So what is it about?

It's about a small number of people who have bought themselves houses in the country.

If the Lenchwick Windfarm had been proposed for somewhere else - somewhere where the per capita income range was somewhat lower - then it's unlikely that Peter Luff would have bothered to get involved.

But here, a tiny, tiny minority of people who have property interests in the area are up in arms. Like a good Tory, Luff has taken up their cause without attempting to find out whether or not they actually have a case, whether they represent local opinion, or whether we as a nation can afford to place the desires of a miniscule sample of investors ahead of the urgent needs of everyone.

As the BBC news report demonstrated, campaigning against the windfarm is stupid. It's unnecessary. And the only way VVASP can get others to support their selfish and misguided campaign is by lying and lying and lying and lying and lying and lying about windfarms.

For which the BBC news team at the Mailbox in Birmingham deserve praise and admiration.

As for Peter Luff MP, wasting parliament's time with an ill-considered defence of rampaging self-interest and anti-social behaviour ... well, what can we say?

Friday, 30 October 2009


... just as long as no wind turbine is more than three feet high. Oh, and they're all put somewhere else. India, preferably.

That, in essence, is what Peter Luff MP has decided to campaign about. On Tuesday of next week, he will waste ten minutes of parliament's time with his thoughts on how windfarms shouldn't be built near places where people (especially Tory voters) live.

The '2km - OK' campaign is one of the most impractical and fraudulent to have emerged from the current debate. Two kilometres was chosen, somewhat at random, because of a misunderstood situation in Scotland.

See, Scotland has quite a lot of territory which is two kilometres from any habitation. All the same, building windfarms exclusively in the Scottish Highlands, the Welsh mountains and around Cornwall wasn't going to solve the problems we need urgently to deal with. And as windfarms began to appear closer to population centres (like the huge SPR development near Glasgow), the two kilometre recommendation quickly proved to be unworkable.

Ah, but now a small number of English people who retired to country areas, or who made some money by whatever means and fancied the life of a country squire, are threatened with the appearance of a windfarm near them. And, of course, there's hell to pay.

But here's the first question to ask ourselves: what would be the result of imposing an exclusion zone around windfarms, be it two kilometres (as the ghastly VVASP placards insist upon) or 1.5km, which a 'scientific' study, carried out on behalf of a nimby group and relying on the desperately unscientific theories of Dr Nina Pierpont, suggested.

Granted that thousands of new turbines are required, where could they be built if the totally daft argument advanced by Luff and his cronies in VVASP won the day?

Quite how empty-headed and dumbly repetitive the argument has been rendered by VVASP's lies and untruths was demonstrated by a letter published in the Evesham Journal yesterday. The correspondent argued that covering the UK with thousands of wind turbines would make no difference to the energy problem. Surely by the age of 19 (the age of the brainwashed letter writer) it should have become apparent that such an argument is a) plain silly, and b) plain wrong. But that's how VVASP have conducted themselves in this dispute - by talking such utter rubbish about windfarms that many a local understands nothing whatever about the issue.

No, instead, the not-quite-with-it letter writer of Atch Lench insisted that the government should be encouraging us to conserve energy.

As far as I'm aware, that's precisely what the government has been trying to do for years, now. Has it worked? Apparently not.

So a solution exists. It has been proven to work. It's implemenation will have many and various benefits - clean, green energy, cheaper to produce than the known alternatives and generated at so many sites that the National Grid is able to counterbalance supply and demand in a way that was much more difficult with fewer, larger power stations.

But a few nimbies don't want it. They're not entirely sure why they don't want it, mostly because their self-appointed leaders have lied repeatedly to them about it. But they don't want it. And now Peter Luff MP is arguing that they shouldn't have to have it.

We have a solution that is good for all, but the reluctance of a tiny minority is enough to put the kibosh on it, at least as far as the egregious Luff is concerned.

But what exactly is the problem? VVASP have banged on and on, dishonestly, about noise, infrasound, amplitude modulation, shadow-flicker, property prices, wildlife and the landscape. However, most, if not all, of their claims are manifestly untrue. And a lot of them know that. So that their fallback position (articulated by the young letter writer of Atch Lench), is that we don't really know what might happen if the Lenchwick Windfarm is built.

We can make an educated guess, of course. Electricity will be produced quietly and harmlessly, with no impact on local ecology and with financial benefits for the immediate area.

But no - for as long as VVASP are able to plant the suspicion (based on incredibly dodgy 'evidence' and a complete breakdown of scientific method) that SOMETHING might go wrong, people will argue that we can't have a windfarm because we don't know what it will do.

That is specious reasoning. It's circular logic. Effectively, what they're saying is, "Okay, we know that we've lied about windfarms, but those very lies suggest that there is some doubt about them, and while that doubt exists we shouldn't build any."

Those doubts are all in the minds of the protesters.

And given that their claims about noise, health and environmental impacts are all hysterical nonsense, based on a deliberate misreading of data and lending credibility to unscientific studies while ignoring the scientific ones, the question should arise: "Why not build windfarms where they can function at their optimum level, as opposed to where a few self-interested nimbies, property developers and their stooges tell us we're allowed to build them?"

Let's face it. The argument isn't really about noise at all, or any of the other stupid claims made by the mouthpieces of VVASP. It's about whether a tiny cadre of wealthy people living out in the countryside should be inconvenienced by having to catch sight of a windfarm every now and then.

On that basis, there really is no argument, and Peter Luff is betraying himself, as well as the British people, by standing up for the interests of a privileged few when it is the longterm needs of all that should be considered (and let's not forget how that privileged minority has conducted itself during this whole dispute).

To summarise: if we accepted an exclusion zone around wind turbines, then we'd be abandoning wind turbines as a means of generated power. We would, to all intents and purposes, make it impossible for a viable windpower industry to exist in mainland Britain. Which would be fanatically stupid and, in the medium-to-long term, catastrophic for British interests.

If we accept that this wholly arbitrary exclusion zone is being demanded by people who just don't want to live near a windfarm - partly because they've told so many lies about windfarms that they've come to believe their own propaganda, and partly because these people are phenomenally self-obsessed and haven't the slightest interest in benefits which apply to other people as well as themselves - then we can see just how fraudulent the '2km - OK' campaign, and Peter Luff's ill-considered speech to the Commons, really are.

Both are based on a lie. That we can have a sustainable power industry without offending a tiny minority of middle-class country dwellers who are interested in nothing but themselves.

Peter Luff can't see it. He's trumpeting the "rights" (!) of property developers, liars and useless inheritors in the face of global need and the truth of the matter. He's speaking up on behalf of those who make the most noise, who demand always to have their own way, and against the interests of both local communities and the nation as a whole. He's defending the privileges of a tiny minority against the needs of society and future generations.

But this issue is too big and important, and the circumstances too urgent and alarming, to be left to the likes of Luff and the pack of braying hounds he's supporting.

Which is why, as Luff makes his speech to the Commons, and Wind of Change celebrates six months of blowing the lid on the immoral and anti-social activities of the nimby loons, we will be uploading a letter template expressing support for Lenchwick Windfarm.

Please, let's show our MP what democracy really is. It's not about the rights of the rich and the lies they tell to defend those rights. It's about the rights and responsibilities of us all.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009


Let's take a moment to imagine what might have been.

When the news broke that ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) was examining the Lenchwick area as the potential site for a windfarm, those who were likely to be most affected by the immediate presence of wind turbines had an option.

They could have gathered the facts, assessed the extent of the probable impact, and then endeavoured to negotiate with SPR over how to move forwards in the most mutually beneficial way.

Or they could scamper round the place looking for anti-windfarm dirt on the internet and then foment an atmosphere of deluded anger, misguided hatred and panicked confusion.

Which do you think they did?

At the heart of the VVASP is a handful of individuals - monied and determined. They exploited the uncertainities of other villagers faced with the prospect of a windfarm by spreading rumours and lies about it. As a consequence, the entire debate about the windfarm became lopsided.

For example - noise. It doesn't take much to find out for oneself just how (not) noisy a modern windfarm is. But so many in the Lenches who haven't been bothered to go and find out have willingly relied on the obfuscators and the propagandists of VVASP to tell them how noisy they are (not). So we have a strange situation - dozens of people convinced that the Lenchwick Windfarm will be noisy, when it won't.

Not a good basis on which to build, is it? People have been misled, and have allowed themselves to be misled, and have actively misled themselves. In the Lenches, this has become something of a social requirement: if you want to fit in with the village scene, you have no option but to spout ignorant rubbish about the windfarm.

This is no way to run a protest. Because the basis of the protest is lies.

Yes - a tiny number of households will be quite close, in the great scheme of things, to the turbines. That is an issue which requires looking at - initially to determine if there will be a downside (apart from the fact that one or two people may not be excited at the idea of looking at a windfarm), and, if so, what can be done about it.

That would have been the logical, intelligent, grown-up approach to the problem. To put it another way, study the matter in detail to identify the genuine areas of potential disruption and then seek a solution.

Spreading lies about windfarms, noise, magical mystery noise, pretend noise, infrapenny infrapound noise, dead bats, house prices, 'light flicker' and all the rest of the gobbledegook has no place in this debate. It counts as white noise, a deliberate move to confuse, alarm and terrify the neighbours so that the whole debate is hijacked by the lunatic fringe.

This is where Peter Luff's latest meaningless contribution comes in. Luff is strutting his stuff. He plans a ten minute bill reading in the House, in which he will argue that windfarms shouldn't be built close to people's homes.

It's a point that deserves debate (of the grown-up variety, rather than the screeching, hysterical, woefully misguided and hopelessly badly managed VVASP variety). Not least of all because this situation is going to arise often, repeatedly, up and down the country as the UK struggles to catch up with the rest of the world.

Let's put it this way. We need thousands of new wind turbines in this country. And dreaming up an arbitrary exclusion zone of the '2km OK' type espoused by the nimbies will only prevent that from happening. Back to square one. The rest of the world forges ahead with a low carbon economy, renewables and green energy. We sit on our backsides pulling faces.

Peter Duff demonstrated in today's Evesham Observer where his true interests lie. He linked the need to protect rich peoples' properties from the encroachment of windfarms to the need to limit affordable housing.

Duff likes to boast of his pro-green, pro-renewables credentials (another example of the 'I'm not racist, but' school of green politics). But he also doesn't want a tiny minority of wealthy individuals inconvenienced in the slightest way by the nation's vital move towards green energy. Similarly, he believes in affordable housing, but only 'the right amount and in the right place.'

Yes, you heard that right. Social housing, like renewable energy, can be held hostage in Duff''s whacky world by a couple of people who've made a bit of money.

It is utterly wrong that an area like the Lenches can be turned into a rich person's playground, with traditional rural activities stopped by the incomers (who consider them, a) noisy and b) dirty) and only a privileged few permitted to enjoy the unnatural peace and the almost unlimited pony riding ground. That is not what the countryside is for.

But that is what MP Duff is trying to enforce. Privilege which, having stamped itself on a living community (in the process, undermining and sidelining that community), sets itself the task of determining what can and cannot happen within its domain.

The sad thing is that Duff has been repeatedly advised about the real methods, tactics and motives of the protesters. But he has chosen to ignore the majority of his constituents, and the needs of the nation at large, in order to defend the 'rights' of a tiny number of self-important, arrogant and anti-social property owners and developers.

This is no way to move forwards. Regardless of the fact that Duff's bill has approximately nil percent chance of becoming law, the local MP has given a clear signal as to where his priorities lie. The needs of the many (of society as a whole, future generations, millions in developing countries) are essentially irrelevant. What matters is those handful of Tory voters who live on the hill and are fighting a proposed windfarm.

If only the protesters had had better leadership from the start. Then, perhaps, Duff might have been able to help them.

Instead, he has entered a debate which has been hijacked by self-centred liars and dangerous bullies, and he has done so on their side. He has ignored the very basics of democracy to concentrate on the noisy demands of a privileged few. He has confused the idea of 'community' with those tantrum-throwers who always expect to get their own way, regardless of costs and who suffers.

Couldn't he have thought about this a bit more carefully?

Hmmnn ... maybe. But then, so could the protesters, if they'd wanted to. But they didn't.


P.S. - the Transition Towns initiative has been trying to draw Peter Luff's attention to a couple of undeniable facts.

Firstly, that inequality breeds inefficiency and a whole raft of social problems. Secondly, that communities need to become sustainable and to embrace the transition from an exploitative, inefficient consumer society to a low carbon local economy.

Sadly, however, it seems that the well-meaning Transition Towns people were wasting their breath. Luff still believes that inequality is valuable and vital (wealthy people shouldn't have to contribute anything at all to the problems we all face) and that sustainability doesn't really matter, compared with the views from a few wealthy people's bedroom windows.

Still, three cheers for Transition Towns Evesham for trying.

Monday, 26 October 2009


It's pretty well a year since the news first broke that ScottishPower Renewables was investigating the area around Lenchwick as the potential site of a windfarm.

Instantly, the lies started. A small band of self-interested people thrust a bewildering raft of phoney facts and misrepresentative information down the throats of those around them.

Parish councils were assailed by nimbies en masse seeking to expel those councillors who were kindly disposed towards the windfarm plan and those who were committed to behaving according to the rules of parish councils. In Church Lench, the protesters were successful - the original parish council resigned, allowing nimbies to take over the parish council and to enter into a symbiotic relationship with the misguided protesters of Vale Villagers Against Science & Progress (VVASP). In Norton & Lenchwick, the nimby mob was markedly less successful.

The barrage of propaganda continued, fuelling crazy rumours and bizarre notions of what a windfarm actually is. The nimbies set out to frighten, to terrify, their neighbours with their looney claims. Anyone who expressed an alternative view was given an unambiguous message: 'Shut up, or else!'

This blog came into existence nearly six months ago, with the aim of countering VVASP's dishonest propaganda, relaying the misdeeds of the protesters (diverting parish council money, anyone?) and offering support to all those in the area who approve of the windfarm. The 'silent majority', in other words.

Six months, and nearly 100 blog posts later, and now we're anxiously waiting for the planning application for the windfarm to be submitted by ScottishPower Renewables (SPR). The moment it is, expect a massive clamour from some of the residents of three Lenches villages.

There will be demonstrations. There will be publicity stunts. There will be lies.

The nimbies have bent the ear of the local MP, fooling him into taking a token stand on behalf of a handful of wealthy individuals against the interests of the wider community - an interesting clue as to how an incoming Conservative government might operate.

(Please feel free to contact Peter Luff MP by post or email if you feel that his campaigning on behalf of a bunch of liars, bullies and property developers isn't really the way forward.)

The truth of the matter is that there is a continuency here, many of whom believe in the windfarm as a progressive step, as a tiny fraction of what is urgently needed and as an inspiring addition to the local scene. With their usual scattergun, never-mind-the-facts-just-scare-the-punters finesse, the nimbies shrieked that the windfarm would 'kill the Vale countryside'. Surely a contender for the Silliest Remark Ever Made prize.

But a large number of local people see the windfarm as rescuing the Vale countryside from the depradations of interlopers, agribusiness and monoculture and the terrifying consequences of climate change. In other words, if you want to save our countryside, vote windfarm. Typically, the VVASP spokespeople are out to the tune of 180 degrees (which you might expect when they're not really thinking about the countryside, only themselves). The windfarm won't, and couldn't, 'kill the Vale countryside'. Rather, it would help to protect the area.

What the anti-windfarm protests have shown is how much the relevant villages have changed in recent years. They have become insular, petty-minded suburban retreats attracting acquisitive investors who have no interest whatsoever in the community. Such people have no qualms about lying to and terrorising their new neighbours if they feel (wrongly, as it happens) that their financial interests are threatened.

So what do those who support the windfarms plans do? Well, it's quite simple. We need to flood Wychavon District Council with letters of support for Lenchwick Windfarm. That's all.

We just need to let the councillors and council officers know that there is huge support for the windfarm in the local villages, and that that support cannot be silenced, cannot be overruled or swept aside, by a small number of nasty nimbies.

Very soon - perhaps even as the 100th blogpost here - we shall be presenting a proposed letter which supporters of the windfarm need only sign and send in to the district council when the planning application has been received from SPR.

We'd be more than happy to hear from anybody who has some suggestions or ideas as to what this letter might include.

But we shall definitely be offering a standard latter of support for anyone to use. We want to make it as easy as possible for the many supporters of the windfarm to make their views known to the planning committee.

VVASP have made a huge amount of noise, pretty well all of which was based on myths and lies, on misquoted reports, on dubious science, on hysteria and blatant nimbyism.

They've had their day.

Let common sense and forward thinking prevail. You can help. All that's needed is a letter of support. The more, the merrier. And we here at Wind of Change will happily do all that we can to overcome the fascist tendencies of the protesters.

Do let your voice be heard - for the sake of future generations.

Friday, 23 October 2009


Much of the talk across the nation today might be about Nick Griffin's appearance on Question Time last night, but there is a bigger political issue around at the moment.

Last week, senior Tory backbencher Douglas Carswell MP proclaimed that anyone who believes that climate change is happening is part of a "lunatic consensus".

This was a shocking statement. The world is facing the greatest crisis ever to affect humanity. Earlier this year, New Scientist magazine ran a piece which suggested that rising global temperatures could lead to a reduction in the human population of the planet to around 1 billion in ninety years time. That would mean that some six billion lives are to be wiped out during the remainder of this century. Mankind has never faced a catastrophe on that scale before.

Then, this week, shadow business secretary Ken Clarke MP announced that, in his view, onshore windfarms are "not suitable" for the UK.

By the following day, Clarke had been forced into an embarrassing climbdown. The Conservative Party insisted that it remained committed to expanding the onshore wind energy sector, and that Clarke's remarks had nothing whatever to do with Tory party policy.

Evidently, 'green' Dave Cameron has a problem on his hands. His party simply doesn't get it. The Conservative Party is still stuck in the 20th (or perhaps the 19th) century. Tory politicians have completely failed to grapple with scientific evidence and the growth of the low carbon economy.

Against the background of disarray in Tory ranks, Peter Luff's announcement that he intends to speak for 10 minutes in the House of Commons on his own proposals to limit the distance between wind turbines and peoples' homes makes perfect sense.

The likelihood of Peter Luff's bill getting anywhere is negligible. But with a scant disregard for evidence or the national need, Luff's plan cosies up to the maniacal nimbies. It's essentially a pointless gesture, but it has been designed to keep the nimby loudmouths satisfied.

No wonder that VVASP seems to imagine that a Tory government will release them from the spell of having a windfarm - a windfarm, of all things! - somewhere near their homes.

The reality of the VVASP protest is this. One man simply doesn't want to see a windfarm nearby. A handful of others are developing properties in the area. They have reacted to the windfarm proposals with a shocking display of selfishness. They don't want the windfarm because they think it will harm their investments (it won't - why should it?) or, in the case of one individual, they just don't want it to be able to see it. They have been prepared to lie, to mislead, to misinform, to bully and to bend the rules in order to have their own way.

Are these the sort of people Peter Luff really wants to champion? Is this what the UK needs right now - a party committed to promoting the interests of a few property developers and raging nimbies in the face of a looming global disaster (not to mention the national humiliation of electricity blackouts on the horizon)?

If the local MP were a tad more thoughtful he might have taken a moment to consider the many residents of the Lenches and surrounding villages who support the windfarm (or whose unhappiness with the proposed windfarm is as nothing compared with their disgust and outrage at the tactics employed by the VVASP nimbies). If Peter Luff only took time out to ask himself which is the majority - the handful of narrow-minded nimbies in the Lenches or those who would benefit, in a variety of ways, from the windfarm - he might give some consideration to what might be the best use of his valuable time. Does he represent the short-term interests of a few monied individuals or the majority of voters in his constituency? Are his interests the present desires of an irresponsible, unscrupulous, reckless group of self-interested bullies or the long-term needs of society?

A TV programme last night, entitled 'BNP Wives', showed hard-right activists spreading their sick propaganda on Britain's streets. Their attitudes, their tactics, their insane paranoia and their gross unreasonableness would have been instantly recognisable to anybody who has witnessed the anti-windfarm nimbies of VVASP at work.

Are these the sort of people Peter Luff wants to put first?

The great sadness here is that the current government of the UK has only recently begun to grapple in any meaningful way with the dire consequences of global climate change. Just in time, potentially, to lose control to a Tory party which is about as ignorant and unrealistic about these problems as the nimbies of Lench.

Naturally, an incoming Tory government will be forced to deal with reality. Maybe just at the moment a few MPs are queueing up to spout nimby nonsense on the stupid grounds that it's a 'vote-winner'. Again, we get the sense that the Tories aren't seeing the bigger picture, but the demands of government will force them to wake up. At which point, the nimbies might recognise that Peter Luff's posturing was simply that, and that Ken Clarke might not care much for windfarms but that's not going to stop them.

But it is disturbing to find that the party most likely to form the next British government is in such a mess over the biggest issue to threaten the 21st century.

Will they recognise that they don't just serve the interests of a privileged few? For that is simply what the VVASP protest is about. It's a tiny minority who think that their finances, their privileges, are threatened by the Lenchwick Windfarm development. They're wrong, but they don't care - they'll do anything to force their anti-social opinions down everybody's throats.

And unless Tory politicians get real and accept that the future belongs to all of us (not just an arrogant, intolerant few), that energy and climate change are the big issues of today (and tomorrow) and that the genuine needs of the many outweigh the selfish desires of the few, the UK will be going to hell in a handcart while the rest of the world takes steps to protect itself against catastrophe.

Let's hope and pray that common sense descends on the Tory party before it's too late.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009


There was a bingo night in Harvington, last week. This event was advertised in the latest VVASP newsletter and on posters in the area.

One thing that these posters failed to disclose, though, was whether or not the bingo night was a VVASP fundraising event.

Now, this sort of thing is nothing unusual in the Lenches these days. Many people find that it's almost impossible to determine which village events are, covertly, VVASP events and which are, therefore, means of raising money for VVASP's anti-windfarm protest.

What was slightly unusual about the Harvington bingo evening was that this blurring of the line between village social and political fundraiser, so common of late in Church Lench, was now being exported to the surrounding villages.

Is it possible that people have gone to events like this, either in the Lenches or elsewhere, unaware that in so doing they were supporting the nimbies of VVASP?

Looking ahead, we have good reason to expect the planning application from ScottishPower Renewables for the Lenchwick Windfarm to be submitted to Wychavon District Council imminently. At which point, we can expect a re-run of the madness which descended over the immediate area when ScottishPower Renewables held their public information sessions in September.

The problem the nimbies have is that the planning guidelines offer no obvious legitimate grounds for the planning application to be turned down. The government has, of necessity, committed itself to renewables. The supposed downsides of windfarms are pretty well all in the protesters' heads. There will almost certainly be an astonishing display of spluttering anger at the relevant planning meeting, but councillors are getting a little peeved at being barracked by noisy nimbies. There is also a quiet, undemonstrative but pleasingly healthy degree of local support for the windfarm development.

VVASP have pledged to fight the windfarm till the bitter end. They half believe that if they can hold things up until the next general election, an incoming Tory government will be more amenable to their selfish cause. Which is unlikely.

Failing that, they seem to feel that simply delaying the arrival of the windfarm for as long as is possible would be an honourable result.

But if the windfarm is coming (which it is), what is the point of trying to postpone its appearance for a couple of years?

It's this kind of pig-headed exploitation of the planning system in order to delay developments which are in the national (and international) public good that has led the government to reconsider our rather ricketty planning system.

Pursuing their campaign through as many stages of the system as they can will cost VVASP a lot of money - which they're raising, in part at least, through events which don't exactly boast about their VVASP credentials.

It will also cost public money - tax-payers' money - every time VVASP delay the inevitable with another stalling tactic.

We can expect more events to take place locally which manage to be rather coy about their real purpose. That in itself is telling. Perhaps VVASP are struggling to maintain their support and finding it more effective not to mention their involvement in local events.

But each one coaxes more money out of local people to be devoted to a time-wasting exercise, and one which could cost each and every single one of us.

This kind of behaviour is costing us our national pride - the UK gets 40% of Europe's wind and yet lies second from bottom in the European renewables league table. It is also costing the future. As politicians the world over are beginning to realise, we all need binding commitments and urgent action now.

Surely if VVASP knew that they were fighting the good fight, and that there was some point in doing so, they wouldn't be quite so coy about their local fundraising activities.

Thursday, 15 October 2009


Windfarms are noisy.

They're not, of course, but this is what the nimbies keep telling us. They're noisy, so there.

But what happens when someone actually visits a windfarm, or stays near one, and discovers that they're remarkably, surprisingly quiet?

Each time that happens - each time somebody returns to the Shire with the news that it's possible to stand directly beneath the blades of a working wind turbine and still be surprised by how quiet they are - the nimbies are caught out. Telling porkies again. Windfarms aren't noisy at all.

So the nimbies have been employing a cunning new weapon. When it is pointed out that so-and-so actually stood directly beneath the blades of a turbine on a windy day and says they're not noisy, the nimby response will be:

'Of course. Sound travels outwards. Wind turbines get noisier the further you are from them!'

This claim has the appearance of science to support it. Soundwaves radiate outwards from a source. If you're right up against the source, the soundwaves will be heading outwards into the atmosphere above your head. You won't hear them, but somebody standing further away will.

Unfortunately for the nimbies, this argument is sheer cobblers.

Sound follows the inverse square rule. The volume of a sound diminishes rapidly as you move away from it.

This is why modern turbines can barely be heard 200 metres away. Up close, they're very quiet. Even that low level sound quickly disappears as you move away from the masts.

So, no - wind turbines do not get noisier the further you move away from them.

Science nails another nimby myth.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


Under the stewardship of Lord Turner, yesterday the government's Committee on Climate Change (CCC) published its first annual report.

The conclusions were inescapable. Britain needs to pull its finger out.

Amongst the recommendations of the report was a call for 23 gigawatts of new wind power generation in the UK by 2020. That equates to an extra 8,000 three megawatt turbines.

The Lenchwick Windfarm will comprise 5 turbines rated up to 2.3 MW each. That's a tiny fraction - less than a quarter of one per cent - of the total required.

Now, here's the rub. Every single one of those 8,000 additional wind turbines will be in the 'wrong' environment. It's not just a few locals in the Lenchwick area who don't want a brand new windfarm near them. Nimby groups spring up everywhere a new windfarm is proposed, and they all spout the same empty arguments: 'We're all in favour of renewables, but just not here!'

So we need a massive increase in the amount of wind power generated in the UK. But nimby groups are going to fight this every inch of the way.

Maybe VVASP really do believe that they are so special, so unique, that they can be exempted from this form of national service. The government and power companies are going to have to find sites for at least 8,000 turbines, but the Lenches feel that they have the right to oppose the five we've been offered.

And if everybody else feels the same way? If everybody takes up the nimby mantra, what then?

Perhaps it's time for the anti-windfarm protesters of the area to come to their senses. Not everywhere nominated for a windfarm can be an 'inappropriate' environment. There is a national need - nay, a looming national crisis - to be addressed. The message from scientists and advisers is clear: the UK is going to get a lot more windfarms and we'll be getting them soon. It's not a question of whether we like them or not.

What kind of example are we setting? The UK needs 8,000 new turbines. The nimbies of Lench are refusing to have five.

It would certainly help matters if groups like VVASP would stick to the facts about wind power, rather than constantly trading silly stories about windfarms. With such a massive increase in wind-generated energy on the cards, such behaviour is monumentally irresponsible and immoral.

We could wise up. Accept the fact that windfarms are going to be part of the British landscape. Acknowledge that the problems we face require answers that involve us all. Recognise that windfarms are quiet, clean and green and that opposing them is socially unacceptable.

Or we could waste large amounts of money and time in fighting the inevitable.

Saturday, 10 October 2009


The latest VVASP newsletter (October 2009) is out.

And they have the temerity to accuse ScottishPower Renewables of practising 'deception'!

"We have the right to expect a large company like SPR to show honesty and integrity in dealings with the public but these aspects were in short supply", claimed the newsletter.

This 'party line' seems to have been agreed before SPR and its consultants held the three public information sessions in Norton & Lenchwick, Harvington and Church Lench last month. There was an assumption - a prejudice, if you will - that SPR would inevitably be lying.

In fact, there are numerous reasons why ScottishPower Renewables are unlikely to tell lies during this process. The most obvious being that it would seriously damage their cause, and the cause of other renewable energy companies seeking to solve our energy problems before they become insurmountable. There is, quite simply, too much at stake. Lying to the public would be a very foolish, and unnecessary, thing for SPR to do.

A while back, this blog asked if anyone could site a single lie told, thus far, by SPR. Still haven't found one, but do keep looking.

VVASP meanwhile can, and do, spout any old rubbish they want to with impunity.

Even before the public information sessions were held, people in Bishampton (including supporters of the windfarm) were being urged to attend the sessions because 'we have to fight this thing.' Not - you may note - to find out what's actually at stake.

This was evidently VVASP's tactic. ScottishPower Renewables, along with consultants from Dulas and an environmental campaigner, were making it possible for locals to peruse the plans and ask questions. This was the first time such an opportunity would exist since VVASP was created to mislead and misinform the locals. A concerted effort was made to limit the impact of these information sessions. While experts were in the halls answering questions (or being told, on no grounds whatsoever, that they were 'lying'), the nimbies were doing their utmost to present their own alternative reality to the villagers.

One criticism made was that the information sessions showed just two photographs with a computer generated windfarm visible - one from the Handgate crossroads and one from Spitten Farm. Where was the photo taken from the Lenches Club, for instance (which, by the way, would have shown that the view of the Malverns from the club's windows would not be obscured in any way by the turbines)?

According to the VVASP newsletter, the two photographs were "taken from viewpoints deliberately chosen to minimise the dominance of the turbines". That is, one was taken from the east and another from the north-west. For anyone who wanted to know what the windfarm would look like from other angles, there was a consultant there to conjure up the relevant diagram on a laptop.

What VVASP were so annoyed about was the simple fact that the windfarm didn't look quite so terrifying when it was in situ, as it were. VVASP had flown a blimp 125-metres up and 'most people' were 'amazed at how high the turbines would be'. Why? What did they think 125-metres would look like? Of course, when you're standing directly beneath it, a blimp flying 125 metres up in the air seems rather high up. But when you're at the distance you'd normally be at - i.e., on two of the main roads into Church Lench, it doesn't seem quite so big.

So - question: how many residents of the Lenches are going to spend significant amounts of time standing directly under the turbines, looking up at them?

Not many.

No, what VVASP were fuming about was that the images of the windfarm rather contradicted their entirely misrepresentative image of what the turbines will look like (a blimp, 125-metres up, which you stand underneath and express surprise at how high it is). SPR had taken plenty of steps to show anyone present what the windfarm would look like from either side and from any point requested. But this wasn't what VVASP wanted people to see. So, as the VVASP say of SPR, "they should be ashamed of themselves."

Ashamed of themselves for making information available. Information that showed how paltry VVASP's 'information' is.

Maybe flying the blimp at 80-metres - the actual height of the hub at the top of the turbine mast - would have been more representative.

Two things made an impression at the public information sessions hosted by SPR in October. One was the sheer level of hostility and unreasonable behaviour in Church Lench (VVASP's 'peaceful protest'). The other was the surprising degree of support for the windfarm, especially in Harvington and Norton & Lenchwick.

And although this blog has no connection whatsoever with Scottish Power or any other developers or operators of windfarms, Wind of Change is happy to point out that SPR have not yet been caught out telling lies. Whereas VVASP have consistently made claims about the windfarm which are demonstrably untrue.

Who, then, has really shown a short supply of 'honesty and integrity' in dealing with the public?

A little further into the VVASP newsletter comes the news that the Lenchwick Windfarm could "bring about the end of cricket in the Lenches." "Turbines Four and Five will be behind the bowler's arm at the south end of the cricket ground" (actually, they won't - turbines 4 and 5 are at the other end of the development).

Does this count as a genuine threat? The Lenches sports ground has been there for all of - what? five years? Many villagers were opposed to it, and there is unhappiness at the prospect of the sports club extending its ground, pulling up hedges (without planning permission) and adding to the noise pollution experienced by locals, as well as light pollution in a quiet country village during the evenings.

Quite why a five-turbine windfarm some distance from the cricket pitch should "bring about the end of cricket in the Lenches" isn't clear. Are cricketers unusually sensitive creatures? And, even if it was true (which anyone with a functioning brain knows it isn't), how does the "end of cricket in the Lenches" stack up against electricity black-outs and climate change?

Let's face it - the energy news isn't good. The government's chief adviser has warned that there will be electrcity black-outs by 2016 if we don't get a grip. Ofgen has now announced that energy bills could rise by 60% over the same period as the loss of nuclear and coal-fired power stations leads to an increasingly risky dependence on imported gas.

The crisis is coming. But we can take steps to avert it. And if that means the end of cricket at the Lenches sports ground, not everyone in the area will be sorry.

Then again, in the real world cricket will continue. The windfarm will look less threatening than VVASP want you to think it is. And they'll still accuse SPR of 'deception' when all the evidence points in the other direction.

They should be ashamed of themselves.

Friday, 9 October 2009


How many storeys does a wind turbine have?

According to VVASP: 40.

According to the English language: none.

By definition, a 'storey' is 'any of the parts into which a building is divided horizontally'. In other words, it's a 'floor'. So turbines, obviously, don't have storeys.

Constantly announcing that the Lenchwick Windfarm turbines will be 'forty storeys high' is yet another example of the nimbies' tendency to twist language. When fully perpendicular, the height to the tip of a blade might be equivalent to a forty-storey building. But there the resemblance ends.

Another question: how many windfarms are there in the UK?

As of 1 May 2009, there were 211 operational windfarms in Britain - a total of 2,434 turbines and 3,391 megawatts of installed capacity, with a further 2,192 MW worth of schemes under construction, another 6,694 MW having secured planning consent and some 8,486 MW waiting for planning approval.

But if you talked to VVASP, you might be forgiven for thinking that the grand total of windfarms in the UK is ... two. And that everyone living near those two windfarms is passionately opposed to them.

One of the windfarms visited by members of VVASP was Coldham, near March in Cambridgeshire. Eight turbines went operational at Coldham in 2005. So awful are they that plans to extend the site to the tune of seven more turbines were not opposed by local residents and were granted approval in 2008.

The site of the Coldham windfarm is a farm owned by the Co-operative Group since 1914. The Co-op does not really have a reputation for investing in noisome, anti-social projects. Joining forces with Scottish Power, the Co-op established the windfarm, gaining planning permission in 2003 after some opposition from local residents.

Evidently, that opposition was unfounded. The residents have grown accustomed to the windfarm and haven't objected to the addition of seven more turbines. Coldham turned out to be such a success that the Co-op received approval from East Riding Council to build a 14 turbine windfarm near Goole.

Overall, local residents seem to have done rather well out of the Coldham windfarm, which has brought educational and financial benefits to the area, as well as putting Coldham 'on the map'.

But when VVASP visited, they ignored all this. Instead, they tracked down a couple of farmers who were prepared to grumble about the windfarm.

Now, Wind of Change rather likes farmers, but we do recognise that many are experts in the art of griping. Perhaps the two VVASP spoke to were jealous, knowing that if the turbines were on their land they'd be receiving a handsome income while still being able to farm around them.

Whatever - the story that came back from Coldham was not one of community benefits, local approval of the windfarm and no resistance to the site's extension. No: what VVASP returned with was some 'alarming' information that two farmers didn't like the windfarm.

Case closed, as they say.

The only other windfarm VVASP like talking about is at Deeping St Nicholas in Lincolnshire. The area is home to Toni Chapman, who moved to the village as the first eight turbines were being erected and who sees no reason to object to the further sixteen turbines which have been proposed (source: Spalding Guardian).

Deeping St Nicholas is also home to a community initiative, known as the Fenland Green Power Co-operative, which saw massive positive interest in 2007 when it offered shares to local residents in two of the turbines (source: Spalding Today).

In January 2006, Mr Watts, whose organic farm hosts the turbines, welcomed a visit to the windfarm ( Mr Watts lives 750 metres from the turbines and had experienced no problems with noise at any time. Neither had he seen any evidence of 'bird strikes' (although he does offer a good explanation for how this myth came about). One member of the visiting group discovered that, at 250 metres distance, the turbines could not be heard.

Overall, there seems to be quite a lot of good news about Deeping St Nicholas. But you'll not hear any of it, because Deeping St Nicholas is home to Jane Davis.

If the nimbies had their way, Jane Davis is the only person in the entire country who would be allowed to talk about windfarms. She claims that she and her husband were forced to leave their home (which is 200m further away from the turbines than Mr Watts's is) because of 'noise'.

Naturally, Mrs Davis's concerns were looked into. Environmental Health Professionals working for South Holland District Council spent 26 days and nights trying to monitor this 'noise' in October 2007. The experts failed to find a problem.

At one stage, attempts by consultants to gather and review data relevant to the case were delayed by the Davises themselves.

Jane Davis would seem to be unique. There have been no complaints from the other six households living at a comparable distance from the windfarm. Locally, indeed, the windfarm would appear to have done a great deal of good, and many locals have joined the Fenland Green Power Co-operative scheme. But all of that is irrelevant, because the nimbies really like Jane Davis. She says what they want to hear.

Regardless of all the positives surrounding Coldham, all that we've heard from VVASP is that two farmers don't like it. And regardless of all the good news surrounding Deeping St Nicholas, all that VVASP have announced is that Jane Davis had to leave her house, in a case which is still problematic because the objective facts in the matter are proving elusive.

It's this utterly selective 'cherry-picking' of the evidence which undermines VVASP's case. Six months ago, there were nearly 2,500 wind turbines operating in the UK. One couple claim to have been forced to move because of an alleged 'noise pollution' which remains unproven and which failed to affect others living nearby.

Now, let's try a thought experiment. Imagine the VVASP representatives visiting Coldham earlier this year and coming back with the news that the turbines aren't all that bad actually and by far the majority of local residents approve of them.

Likely? Not really. Because VVASP are committed to opposing Lenchwick Windfarm regardless of the facts. For their own reasons, ranging from abject NIMBYism and the desire to protect investments to some rather random worries about something-or-other, VVASP have consistently sought out any 'bad news' they can find.

This has required them to ignore most of the information available and to trumpet unscientific reports, unsubstantiated rumours, Chinese whispers and claims which simply don't add up.

The many who are benefitting already from windfarms are ignored. A miniscule, totally unrepresentative sample is all that VVASP are interested in.

So - how many stories does a wind turbine have?

Many. But VVASP don't want you to hear most of them.

Thursday, 8 October 2009


Someone seems to think that they will be living 'in the middle' of a windfarm when the Lenchwick development gets the go ahead.

How odd. Looking at the map, it's hard to see how anybody will be 'in the middle' of the windfarm. Outside the windfarm, yes. Within so many hundred metres of a turbine, yes. But 'in the middle'? That's not really possible, is it? Unless they're planning on erecting a tent on private land, in between a couple of turbines. Which is not really likely to happen.

Aside from the paranoid guff that everyone in favour of windpower (or this blog) works for a windfarm company, there has also been the suggestion that anti-NIMBY, pro-windfarm people don't live anywhere near windfarms (and certainly not 'in the middle' of one).

But, as usual, a VVASP 'statement' turns out to be laughably easy to refute. There's quite a rich crop of community windfarm projects to consider.

But wouldn't you just know - another contributor has been in touch to point out that villagers in Fintry, Stirlingshire, took a most unusual step when a windfarm was first proposed for their locality.

Did they form a NIMBY group to fight the proposals?

No. They asked the developer (West Coast Energy) to install an extra turbine which the villagers themselves would pay for!!!

With the Fintry windfarm now up and running, the villagers, in the form of the Fintry Development Trust, are receiving an income from their own turbine, as well as seeing their domestic energy bills reduced by a huge amount.

Here's the link:

So - in conclusion. Some pro-wind people live in close proximity to windfarms, and are really rather proud of them (as well as benefitting directly from them). Some people don't get their knickers in a twist over phantom fears. Some people are capable of recognising a Good Thing when they see it.

Once again, it seems, VVASP can only shout, threaten and regurgitate inaccurate information.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009


Few people can be more alert to the progress and perils of climate change than David Attenborough.

Well, this is what he said after visiting the site of a windfarm application in Sussex (Times Online, 26 February 2008):

"Having visited the proposed site, I noticed that it is close to a place where not long ago, a windmill once stood. I suspect that were that windmill still in existence, many of us would regard it as a welcome feature in the essentially domesticated Sussex landscape and would speak passionately in favour of its protection. That, surely, is because most of us have a care and affection for the past. I certainly have.

"But I also have a care and affection for the future. A wind turbine, with its graceful lines, collecting energy from the environment without causing any material damage, is a marvellous demonstration of the way we can minimise our pollution of the atmosphere, if we wish to do so. It would help protect not only the countryside we have known for centuries but also the wider world beyond."

Can you feel that?

That's a breath of fresh air, a few measured words of common sense.

VVASP once claimed that Lenchwick Windfarm would 'kill the Vale countryside'. But David Attenborough recognises that such windfarms are a way to 'protect not only the countryside ... but also the wider world beyond.'

Whose view do you reckon is the more impartial, the more reliable? David Attenborough, who has spent a lifetime studying the natural world, or VVASP, who haven't?

Tuesday, 6 October 2009


In the 1950s, the Corporation of Liverpool decided that it needed more water. This was not for the citizens of Liverpool, who had plenty of water. The Corporation believed that it needed more water for its proposed programme of industrial expansion.

Bypassing local democracy, the Corporation of Liverpool acquired an Act of Parliament allowing it to flood a Welsh valley. Naturally, there was massive opposition. Nothing did more to promote the growth of Plaid Cymru, the Welsh nationalist party. There were even outbreaks of what we would now call terrorism.

Still, in 1965, families living in Capel Celyn were evicted. Bodies were exhumed from the cemetery, which was then concreted over. Twelve houses and farms were drowned, along with the post office, the school and the chapel.

Even today, Liverpool does not use all the water stored in the Tryweryn Reservoir created by the flooding of Capel Celyn.

The Welsh-speaking people of Capel Celyn could not have been described as 'NIMBYs'. Partly because the word (or acronym) didn't exist. It was invented in the 1980s - the 'me' decade. Even so, those families who had lived in Capel Celyn all their lives were not campaigning against the reservoir on the grounds of 'Not In My Back Yard'. They were campaigning for their homes, their village, their family property to be saved.

The threat which faced the people of Capel Celyn was a very real one.

NIMBY groups form to confront a threat that isn't real.

Let's take a fairly recent, and utterly disgraceful, nimby campaign.

When, in 2007, the Ministry of Defence opened a new 30-bed annexe at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre in Surrey, the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) decided to convert a local house into a temporary home-from-home for families visiting seriously wounded service personnel. The place they chose was in Gray's Lane, Ashtead.

83 letters of objection were lodged by local residents. The objectors cited 'increased traffic noise', 'additional pollution' and the slim chance that the area would become a 'soft target' for 'these awful terrorists'.

One local resident kept demanding, 'would you be happy with the relatives of a bunch of soldiers on your lawn?'

It goes without saying that most of the Ashtead residents were only too happy to see British service personnel going overseas to protect British interests. But when some came back with hideous wounds and injuries, those same local residents were not prepared to allow the families of the wounded to stay nearby.

Unlike the people of the lost village of Capel Celyn, the Ashtead residents were categorically not fighting to protect their homes. Rather, they seem to have had a mental image of their well-heeled area which did not include any kind of temporary home for the families of wounded soldiers. They were not opposing a direct threat - for all that laughable nonsense about becoming a terrorist target. They were fighting an imaginary one.

It's easy to spot a NIMBY campaign. The language tends to be hysterical (like, the turbines of Lenchwick Windfarm will "kill the Vale countryside" - a monstrous suggestion if ever there was one). The 'facts' turn out to be merely opinions. Crazy rumours spread like wildfire.

The threat confronted by nimbies is a perceived threat - it is not a real threat. Although dramatic claims are made about the impact on house prices, the evidence fails to support the claims. Imaginary threats (such as 'noise') are blown out of all proportion. A deliberate campaign of misrepresentation, often supported by strong-arm tactics, is engineered to scare or force other residents into supporting the nimby cause.

In Capel Celyn, a community existed and struggled, unsuccessfully, to defend itself. In stark contrast, nimby campaigns tend to be illustrative of a community breakdown. A sense of community is manufactured by creating an illusory threat against which locals are obliged to combine. But a real community would not object to a home for families visiting badly wounded soldiers. The very existence of that shameful campaign was proof that all community spirit in the area had vanished.

The perceived threats conjured up by those opposed to a windfarm in their local area are illusory threats. This blog came into existence largely as a result of the barrage of propaganda being unleashed by VVASP. The protesters claimed to be 'informing' the community. In reality, they have been misinforming, misleading and terrifying their nieghbours with unfounded scare stories. Had they really been interested in 'informing' the community, there would have been a bit of balance, not to mention reliable science, in the information they provide.

No one is obliged to like the idea of a windfarm nearby. But spreading unsubstantiated rumours about windfarms with the sole purpose of whipping up opposition to the proposals is deeply immoral. VVASP have planted a psychological timebomb. There will, unfortunately, be those who believe the misquoted reports, the misrepresented studies, the misleading myths. When Lenchwick Windfarm becomes operational, these poor people will expect problems. They will blame anything and everything on the windfarm.

The reality is that the windfarm poses a negligible threat. It is all in the mind. Unlike Capel Celyn, the village, the community, does not face the genuine threat of extermination.

By pretending that it does, and by mounting vociferous opposition to what is essentially a much-needed and beneficial development, VVASP have proved that they are NIMBYs, products of the 'me' generation, with little or no concern for anything but themselves.