Monday, 29 November 2010


What would you say if your neighbours were conspiring to lower the value of your property?

Back in February, the independent Advertising Standards Authority judged three of VVASP's claims about the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm to be unreasonable. They breached the Code of Advertising Practice guidelines on Truthfulness and Substantiation. They were, in short, lies. Irresponsible, foolish, ludicrous lies.

Instantly, of course, there was a backlash - both from the nutcases who had published the false claims and the idiots who had believed them. Some of the sillier locals competed to see who could claim the biggest fall in property values in the area. Off the radar, so to speak, the mindless drones of VVASP argued that (regardless of the ASA ruling) their homes had lost value. And all because of a windfarm that doesn't exist yet.

Well, perhaps they should have read the report which they were so eager to misquote.

They had taken part of a sentence from an Oxford Brookes University study, funded by the RICS, into windfarms and house prices and quoted it as if it represented the findings of that study. It didn't. Basically, they had done what certain dodgy impresarios have been known to do. Take a word or two from a report out of context and advertise the hell out of it.

It seemed pretty clear that VVASP had not read the report they were so keen to misquote. A closer examination of the report itself apparently confirms this.

The report itself remarked that 'the "threat" of a wind farm may have a more significant impact [on house prices] than the actual presence of one.'

Take a look around the Lenches and you'll see a supposedly peaceful rural area (parts of which aren't that peaceful at all, really) which has been vandalised by the pigs of VVASP. They have colluded in making their own properties practically unsellable. At a time of global recession and great uncertainty, they plastered their area with hideous, monstrous and painfully silly placards. Nasty yellow placards saying 'NO'.

Who in their right minds who go looking for a cosy rural retreat and settle on an area where there are so many of those moronic 'NO' signs?

Are they welcoming? 'NO'.

Do they suggest a calm and tranquil neighbourhood, a pleasant and tolerant community? 'NO'.

Have the maniacs of VVASP ruined their own property market with their depressing placards?


So here's the reality check. The windfarm will not have an adverse effect on house prices. Not at all. If anything, as various reports now indicate, it will provide a local boost to property values. As with Burton Latimer, where estate agents routinely advertise proximity to the Burtonwold windfarm as a Unique Selling Point, the Lenchwick Windfarm will prove to be a positive boon when it comes to house prices in the Lenches.

Which should make them all sit up and notice, especially as there are quite a few in the Lenches who can think of nothing but their net worth.

But VVASP have hammered property values in the area with their ridiculous, duplicitous, utterly crazed and deeply dishonest protest. Any fall, real or imagined, in the values of properties in the Lenches is entirely down to the brainless demagogues of the nimby movement. They have only themselves to blame.

If they had reacted in a more intelligent, grown up and responsible way to the proposals, they might not have seen a fall in house prices in the area.

Now, seriously, how stupid can you get? Who would willingly reduce the market value of their capital assets?

VVASP would. And not just for themselves. For everyone. It's that Dr No again, making everyone else suffer and pay for his mindless opposition to a brilliant, beautiful and beneficial scheme.

The picture's pretty clear. The windfarm will boost your property value. VVASP will smash it.

And so the intelligent decision is ... ?

Thursday, 25 November 2010


The Northants Evening Telegraph ran a piece under this heading on Tuesday 9 November. It related to an exhibition of plans to extend the successful Burtonwold Windfarm near Burton Latimer.

Pam Mills, 64, was quoted. She will have a clear view of the turbines from her house nearby:

'I'm fully in favour 100 per cent. We think they are beautiful and graceful.

'I can see all 10 from my house and watched them being erected.

'I'm really happy with them. When my grandchildren come in, the first thing they say is: "Granny, wind mills."'

As tends to be the case, up and down the country communities which have a windfarm nearby are their strongest advocates. People who have had the privilege to become familiar with wind turbines in the neighbourhood by and large love them.

Immediately beneath this wholly optimistic, good-news piece was an inset. Another nimby group had been opposing plans for a windfarm elsewhere for five years.

This group is called BLOT and it's just as shameless in its unprincipled opposition and dishonest practice as VVASP. The usual lies about windfarms are promoted endlessly, the usual suspects are drafted in to write their bogus reports, the usual hysterical and misleading scare-stories are spread about.

The difference between these two communities? One has a windfarm, loves it and is looking forward to getting more turbines, partly because they are 'beautiful and graceful' and partly because of the tangible benefits that windfarms bring to such communities. The other doesn't have a windfarm (yet) and a bunch of lunatic busy-bodies are trying to make sure that their neighbours never get to see the benefits.


And that's where we are here in Lenchwick. An abusive, exploitative, misleading, aggressive, insanely illogical, dishonest, discredited, evil campaign mounted by a handful of trouble-makers is trying to stop a wholly beneficial development.

One day (please God) we will be just like the good folk of Burton Latimer (and elsewhere) who know the facts about wind power and can't get enough of it. Till then, we're in the sad, perplexed, confused state of those at Bozeat (and elsewhere) because of a few demented and disgusting nimbies.

We have the option of seeing our lives and our landscape enhanced, of gaining the cherished beauty and 'calming effect' of the wind turbines, and of benefiting from the financial input while doing our bit for the country as a whole. It's a win-win situation. The only person who loses out is Dr Rod Stroud because he told such a pack of lies about the development that his reputation will be shot to pieces.

But thanks to Dr No and his fanatical bullies, we're being nudged towards losing out on all this. The only person who will benefit from us not getting the windfarm will be Stroud - and even then, it's a miserable benefit. Okay, so he won't get to see the turbines from time to time. Bully for him. But there will be no net gain, no material gain - only the satisfaction of knowing that his campaign of lies and intimidation worked, that he was able to overturn the democratic process and deny his neighbours a whole host of benefits, including those relating to the value of their property, and that the community and the UK as a whole is a lot worse off because of him.

Could it get any crazier than that?

Wednesday, 24 November 2010


Here's a measure of how inept the so-called Windfarm Working Party was when it came to gathering and sharing information both in favour of and against windfarms. They didn't even know what the County's strategy on renewables was!!

A few posts back, we reported on the document produced by Worcestershire County Council in January 2009. That was just two months before the Windfarm Working Party was created in order to do the bidding of the nookies on Church Lench Parish Council.

Did the WWP note that Worcestershire had identified Wychavon (i.e., here) as having windfarm potential? Did the daft burghers of the six parishes realise that the County's document had called for a cascade of effective and reliable information on the matter of renewables to trickle down from the local authorities?

Apparently not. The Working Party announced that only its friends in VVASP were allowed to 'educate' the community. They actively prevented the parish councils from distributing useful 'education'. They saw it as the job of a deluded and eventually discredited protest group to 'educate' the people, completely ignoring what the County Council felt was desirable.

With four-and-a-half grand of our money to play with, we might have expected the WWP to do a bit of research. Visit a comparable windfarm site. Contact the local authorities for advice and guidance. Meet up with pro-wind groups. Did any of that happen?


Meanwhile, good old BLoW have unearthed a briefing paper prepared for Members of Parliament which points out that, actually, house prices are more likely to RISE faster near a windfarm than further away. It's on the Wychavon website.

This blog has been considering the evidence with regard to property values for some time, and now the House of Commons agrees that windfarms do not have an adverse effect on house prices. If anything, quite the reverse! And in Wales, 500 metres is the accepted distance between windfarms and property. Seems fair enough.

And guess what - VVASP commissioned their dreary 'Visual Impact' report from a pet 'consultant'. Bizarrely, this tedious waffle arrived just over three months too late (the official deadline for the public consultation period was July 31st). Even more bizarre is the fact that the geezer who put this boring document together hasn't really grasped the whole renewables issue.

Geoffrey Sinclair, the obscure individual who took VVASP's thirty pieces of silver, apparently thinks that nuclear power is renewable. In a document published this September, Sinclair remarked on 'The Westminster Government's commitment to develop nuclear power as the primary source of renewable energy in the UK and hence the marginal relevance of onshore wind as the platform for renewable energy generation in Wales.'

Hmmnn ... let's try to sift the fact from the fudge here. The Westminster Government's 'commitment' to developing a new nuclear program is questionable. No public money will be made available for the construction of new nuclear power plants. And no nuclear power plant has been built without massive public subsidy. Not much of a commitment, then.

Furthermore, nuclear is not renewable. It's a fossil fuel system. There is something extraodinarily duplicitous or wildly off-target in pretending that nuclear is renewable. It means that the consultant hired (rather late in the day?) by VVASP is either hopelessly muddled or chronically mendacious (and hugely out-of-date: renewables are predicted to overtake nuclear by 2013, so where is this government 'commitment' to the beloved nuclear industry?)

Either way, VVASP have found the landscape equivalent of Mike Stigwood, the maverick noise consultant with an axe to grind whom the district council decided to retain after conversations with the VVASP puppets in the Windfarm Working Party. The WWP was the group which could not be bothered to find out anything at all about windfarms but proved fairly effective at identifying what sort of expert or thing could maybe stop a windfarm planning application in its tracks.

Biased? Bigoted? Utterly out-of-touch with reality? Er ... yeah.

But there is some good emerging from all this. As VVASP's lies are exposed, its hideous ideology and tactics revealed, its concerted attempts at gerrymandering and fixing local democracy are brought to light, and as a steady stream of positive news and developments pours in, utterly demolishing the ricketty case VVASP have been trying to put together, the tide is quite clearly turning. The fools and fascists of VVASP are looking shakier, now. They have relied on unreliable consultants, just as they have relied on unreliable information.

Bring on the windfarm - let's show the people just how many lies VVASP have told!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


Most people, hearing the words 'Parish Council', will probably think of The Vicar of Dibley, and they won't be far wrong. There's something pleasingly reminiscent of Dad's Army and other quaint sitcoms about the workings of the average English Parish Council.

The charmingly amateur approach to local matters demonstrated by so many Parish Councils can easily be subverted by determined individuals. Which is what has happened in the Lenchwick region.

It is fairly standard practice for a Parish Council to organise a Working Party to investigate and report on various issues. It saves time, having a small group looking into an issue and feeding back to the Council, and there is no need to minutes to be taken. But it is unusual for such a Working Party to demand upfront payments from several Parish Councils for it to carry out its duties.

Where the Windfarm Working Party is concerned, those duties have shifted somewhat. To begin with, the Working Party was sold to the participating Parish Councils as a group tasked with gathering and sharing information both in favour of and against wind farms. This information would help the various Parish Councils prepare for the arrival of the planning application. Their questions would be answered.

That did not happen. The WWP had only been in existence for a few weeks, and was not yet fully funded, when it got into bed with the protest group VVASP.

This came as no surprise to some. Church Lench Parish Council (which established the Windfarm Working Party) was nimby through-and-through. The thugs of VVASP had disrupted so many Parish Council meetings that the real councillors resigned, making way for a Parish Council composed entirely of demented anti-wind farm nincompoops. As one resident remarked, Church Lench now had a 'single-issue parish council'.

In the summer of 2009, the WWP agreed to share VVASP's workload. It granted VVASP the sole right to 'educate' the public on windfarm matters (which was pretty daft, given VVASP's propensity for telling fibs) and offered to concentrate on the noise issues related to the proposed windfarm while VVASP focussed on the visual impact.

So already the WWP had decided, in concert with VVASP, to gather and share information relating to only one aspect of the windfarm - the potential noise issues. Now, with a budget of £4,500, provided by the six participating Parish Councils, the Working Party could afford a great deal of research, input and advice. But, in the event, hardly any of this was spent on investigating the noise issues relating to the windfarm.

Instead, the WWP massively overspent on a solicitor, paying the said brief upwards of £3,000 to submit repeated objections to the windfarm plans on the Working Party's behalf.

So what happened to the noise issue? We'll come back to that.

When the WWP was founded, it was clearly stated (by Norton and Lenchwick Parish Council, among others) that the WWP representatives would report back to the Councils on their findings but would have no input directly into the Councils' reponses to the planning application.

This would make sense. In the course of their extensive research (which never happened), the WWP reps would surely form their own opinions. They could feed back on the activities of the WWP and answer questions from their fellow Parish Councillors, but it would be only sensible if, having told the Councils what they had found out, they then left the room while the Parish Councils decided how to respond to the planning application.

Again, though, this did not happen. All six Parish Councils dutifully submitted the woeful 'critique' of the planning application prepared for the WWP by their solicitor. These submissions all took place within one week, with the Norton and Lenchwick submission arriving at Wychavon District Council on the same day as the solicitor's not-very-good critique arrived.

Far from having no input in the eventual decisions of their respective Parish Councils, the WWP reps appear to have insisted that all the participating Councils submitted the selfsame objection, in the form of the solicitor's 'critique'. It seems highly unlikely that the majority of councillors had even seen that report before it was submitted on their behalf. And the parishioners - those who had demonstrated a marked lack of real interest in the whole windfarm issue - were of course not consulted.

With the six submissions of the same document - plus the solicitor's own submission, which makes seven versions of the same 'critique' submitted in the one week - the WWP threw its cards down on the table. It had failed or refrained from gathering and sharing information and it had pretty much given up on its mission to concentrate on the noise issues. It had simply made sure that all six Parish Councils submitted the same dumb objection, regardless of the facts, public opinion or the views of the actual parish councillors.

It was Church Lench Parish Council which administered the Windfarm Working Party (and had the contract with the solicitor), and so it is Church Lench which is to blame for the fact that the Windfarm Working Party completely failed to stay within its budget. Even though it saved hundreds of pounds by giving up on the whole noise side of things, that just meant that it felt entitled to throw hundreds more at their solicitor - whose bills eventually busted their budget altogether.

The WWP has since demanded more money from the Parish Councils so that it can pay the solicitor to appear and to speak at the Special Development Control Committee meeting to consider the windfarm planning application early next year.

Now, here's the rub - just who, exactly, is solicitor Peter Scott going to be representing at Wychavon planning meeting? The answer, short and simple, is: Church Lench. Because, as a mere Working Party, the WWP surely has no authority whatsoever to hire a solicitor to keep banging on and on about their naff objections to the development before the Development Control Committee. So, even though the WWP - or rather, Church Lench Parish Council - proved singularly inept at managing its own budget, the deranged nookies of Church Lench have now insisted that EVERYBODY ELSE should pay for a solicitor to represent them at the meeting of the Wychavon planning committee.

All this money - the £4,500 that was misappropriated from the Parish Councils and then misspent - along with the additional £250 or so donated by Parish Councils, is precept money. It is tax-payers' money granted to Parish Councils for the maintenance of local services. It is public money - OUR money - which is being misused to pay for Church Lench's dimwitted objections to a perfectly sensible scheme.

The Windfarm Working Party is simply a blind. It is Church Lench Parish Council (proprietor: VVASP) seeking to impose its views on the surrounding Parish Councils and making sure that everybody in the area jumps to their tune.

The reason why the WWP gave up on its mission to investigate the noise impact of the windfarm isn't too difficult to find. After a meeting between representatives of the WWP and the Head of Environmental Services at Wychavon, the District Council took the odd decision to hire a very biased noise consultant.

From the point-of-view of the WWP (which is also Church Lench Parish Council, which is also VVASP) this decision, taken by officers at Wychavon DC, absolved them of the need to worry about noise issues. The District Council had taken care of that for them. So they could now throw all our money at a solicitor - and then some more.

It should be abundantly evident to anybody with a functioning brain cell and a basic sense of right and wrong that the Windfarm Working Party has been a flagrant abuse of local democracy. It was created by a ludicrously biased Parish Council with the sole purpose of suborning the surrounding Parish Councils and spending their money (our money) on fighting the windfarm by any means necessary. Absolutely no genuine information was gathered and shared - the morons didn't even consider visiting an operational windfarm!!

Even when the WWP had agreed with their bosom pals in VVASP on who was going to do what, the Working Party was able to renege on that arrangement because it had tricked Wychavon into hiring a noise consultant who (apart from having no real qualifications) is known to be fanatically anti-windfarms, who repeatedly cites evidence that no one has ever seen and who routinely objects to and finds fault with every aspect of a windfarm planning application.

So the WWP had managed to save some money by getting somebody else (Wychavon) to spend public money on its fraudulent enterprise. But rather than return the money it had saved to the participating Parish Councils, the WWP gaily overspent on paying a solicitor to come up with as many objections as he could think of. And to warn off any local resident who expressed suspicions about the way the WWP was trampling over everything that was democratic and decent in the area.

Finally, even though its work is theoretically done, the WWP is paying for the same solicitor to represent the nimby nutters of Church Lench Parish Council at the meeting of the Development Control Committee. This is not what Working Parties do. It is a blatant abuse of public money by a dishonest, deluded minority.

The Parish Councillors of the area are at fault here for failing to insist that proper controls be exercised over a Working Party that was obviously partisan and politically motivated. A large amount of our money has been wasted, overspent, improperly accounted for, misappropriated and misused, all for the sake of a few nimbies. And, even though they had no authority to intervene in the decisions of their Parish Councils, the berks of the WWP made sure that all six Councils submitted the same objection, when the majority of residents in the area have never expressed opposition to the windfarm plans.

Isn't it about time that somebody, somewhere, woke up to this outrageous misbehaviour and taught the sick and evil-minded nimbies of Church Lench a lesson in democracy and proper conduct?

Friday, 19 November 2010


Little wonder that our nookie friends were praying for a Tory government. The previous administration was evidently keen on renewables. So the nimby nutters wanted them out. Besides which, if you take a look at the majority of VVASP you'll quickly see that few of them have ever given a passing thought to the needs of others. A Tory government, they hoped, would throw out all windfarm applications and go crazy for nuclear instead.

Well, whaddya know. The coalition is in a right old pickle.

Peter Luff's dimwitted 2 kilometre Bill is back. This was a bit of posturing that the MP did on VVASP's behalf a while back. Now, under the new government, he's going through the motions again.

Cameron and Clegg are thoroughly committed to renewables. They've seen the figures and they know that we need them. Sadly, though, a few of their more hard-of-thinking backbenchers feel that there might be a few votes in standing up for the kind of nimby madness which has made the Lenchwick area so thoroughly unpleasant recently. They're on a hiding to nothing, of course. Worse, they are actively opposing the very measures (harmless, beneficial) which the UK urgently needs to adopt. It's a thoroughly stupid and silly enterprise that Luff and co. are engaged on.

Much of the problem lies with the Secretary of State for Communities, the Weeble-like Eric Pickles. One of Pickles's first acts was summarily to abolish regional plans. Under the last government, local authorities were required to figure out what they were going to contribute to such big issues as affordable housing and renewable energy. That involved planning, and as everybody knows, planning ahead is a Socialist thing to do.

But Pickles was taken to the High Court over this, and last week the High Court ruled that he had abused his powers. Pickles simply did not have the lawful right to tear up all those regional plans. It was an exceptionally foolish and short-sighted thing to do.

All of this indicates that the Tory party (in particular) simply hasn't got its head on when it comes to the problems that lie ahead. Too many gormless MPs (like the charmless Karen Lumley, MP for Nimby South, and Luff himself, formerly the MP for Nimby South and now MP for the Vile) have been too quick to swallow the nookie line. This is the deranged mindset which claims to be all in favour of renewables (oh yeah?) as long as they can't see them. The loopy way of thinking which insists that renewables don't work and everybody in the world can't abide the things. The liars, basically.

The upper echelons of the coalition government have to make sensible decisions about our energy future - and with Chris Huhne at the helm of Energy and Climate Change all the indicators are that onshore windfarms will play their part. Cameron (whose father-in-law has a windfarm on his estate) and Clegg (whose wife works for a renewables company) know that this is the only feasible way forward.

But then their dull minions try to prove that they've got their fingers on the pulse (of a dead body) by trotting out the tired and meaningless nimby drivel that they were sold by the likes of VVASP. Pickles abuses his power and is made to reinstate the regional plans - which includes regional plans for renewables. Local authorities have been told that their strategies have been reinstated. A common sense approach to housing and energy is back!

It's astonishing, though, how a few not-very-bright MPs can have misread the situation so badly. Surely it's time that Cameron rounded up his sheep, left Pickles stranded on a beach somewhere, and got on with the job of ensuring that Britain has electricity in a few years time.

Isn't that what being Prime Minister is all about? Fighting for Britain, rather than defending a few selfish cretins who couldn't be trusted to tell you what day of the week it was?

Thursday, 18 November 2010


'What we saw in the courtroom and in much of the media were judgements based on anecdote and speculation.'

These are the words of Marcia Angell, onetime editor of the New England Journal of Medicineand author of Science on Trial: The Clash Between Medical Science and the Law in the Breast Implant Case.

The situation was fairly simple. Stories had started doing the rounds that silicone breast implants could cause a variety of health problems. Women who had health problems and silicone breast implants put two and two together. There were law suits and a media frenzy.

Some years later, after much research, it became clear that there was no evidence of any direct link between implants and health problems. But by then, much of the damage had been done.

There have been countless examples of this sort of public hysteria, based entirely on supposition and an inability to weigh up the evidence. In the year following 11 September 2001, over fifteen hundred people died on America's roads because they had chosen not to fly, regardless of the fact that it was still the safest way to travel. Their decisions cost them their lives.

Dan Gardner's book Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear suggests that we essentially have two brains. One he calls 'Gut'. It makes instant and instinctive decisions. The other he calls 'Head' - that one weighs up the evidence and does a bit of thinking before casting its vote.

Guess which one rules nimby thinking. Right at the start of this windfarm nonsense, a small number of individuals panicked. One - who really should have known better - typed 'Nasty Wind Farms' into Google and got a load of bilge by return. This, he decided, was gibberish that the entire neighbourhood really should know about.

A few moments of proper research might have saved VVASP the indignity of an adverse ASA adjudication. If the chap responsible had actually done some real research, rather than just looking for the worst (most misleading) headlines he could find, they might not have published the ludicrous claims that came through everybody's doors.

And, having worked themselves up into paroxysms of crazy thinking, the fanatics of VVASP then had to ensure that everybody thought the same as they did. So a blanket ban on independent thought and proper research was imposed. If you didn't pay lip service to the lies, you were not allowed to express an opinion.

The measures taken to defend the spectacularly dishonest behaviour of the anti-windfarm protest have been growing ever more elaborate. The Windfarm Working Party, for example, seems to be trying to pretend that it doesn't really exist. It was set up simply to advise parish councils on a complex planning application, or so it claims, so it was not in any way a 'public' body - an argument that has worn so thin it could get a modelling job.

What we've ended up with are the 'anecdotes and speculation' which Marcia Angell remembered from the case of the breast implants. Basically, people talking rubbish. Telling stories which have no factual basis. Ignoring the available evidence to make stupid, illogical and utterly unscientific pronouncements. Over-exaggerating a pretty much non-existent risk.

Looked at objectively, and with access to all the evidence and information that VVASP has routinely sought to deny its poor deluded members, the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm is undoubtedly a Good Thing. The risks are minimal, the benefits all too apparent.

Except that the loons of VVASP decided on Day One that a windfarm was of necessity a Bad Thing (why?) and that therefore there simply could not be any benefits. And so we get those weird, unsupported stories about windfarms not working, about them only being built because of huge subsidies (nuclear, anyone?), about community payments being nothing more than 'bribes'. All complete twaddle, of course. The sort of thing that convinces ambitious Tory politicians but no one with half a functioning brain.

A glance through the silly objections to the proposed windfarm merely confirms the fact that most people who have objected really don't have much of an idea as to what it is they're objecting to. Read the letters and you'll quickly discover that few if any of them have anything to do with windfarms. They are, rather, lousy attempts at rationalising a wholly irrational, unsustainable and inexcusable opposition to a Good Thing.

Just how lousy those attempts have been can be seen by reading a few of the letters of objection. The claims made in those letters are so ludicrous, so wide of the mark, that it is clear that most of these people wouldn't even recognise a windfarm if you parked one on their doorstep. They simply don't know what a windfarm is. They've allowed themselves to be misled, like the lemmings they are, by the buffoons of VVASP.

You could argue that fear underlies all these objections. But, if that's true, then it's a completely irrational fear which could be easily ameliorated by a bit of sensible and level-headed finding out. Don't just read the latest ox-ordure to be evacuated from the bowels of VVASP - they're a bunch of proven liars, for crying out loud! Do some proper research. Find out. And then you won't need to be worried about the Windfarm Monster because you'll have discovered that the Windfarm Monster doesn't exist!!!

But, sadly, many people are hopeless when it comes to assessing risk. They make silly mistakes. They let their 'Guts' rule their 'Heads'. And we end up with a ridiculous, stupid, fraudulent, dishonest and utterly demented campaign against something that is harmless and beneficial.

Honestly - people, eh?

Monday, 15 November 2010


A most intriguing document has recently appeared on the Wychavon planning website. Showing a delightful sense of mischief, the Wychavon officers smuggled the document into the midst of a long and boring sermon submitted on behalf of VVASP.

In fact, two documents were allowed to interrupt the interminable flow of yet another intervention by VVASP in their ongoing attempt at derailing the planning process. One of these documents was a typically obstreperous VVASP effort highlighting a decision which went against a proposed windfarm in the Scottish Borders.

Maybe some kind soul would care to respond by notifying Wychavon of the planning inspector's recent remarks in connection with a windfarm proposal for the Fens. As the following link makes clear, the planning inspector simply did not feel that the 'visual impact' of the proposed windfarm was sufficient cause to deny the project the go-ahead.

It should be remembered, of course, that VVASP agreed in the summer of '09 to concentrate on the visual aspect of the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm development while their playmates in the Windfarm Working Party concentrated on the noise issues - something the WWP seems to have done fairly successfully by selling the District Council a whole load of hogwash about the government's guidelines on windfarms and noise.

Anyway, in addition to the usual nimby outrage on the Wychavon website, we find a document submitted by our friends at BLoW ('Back Local Windfarms'). This is effectively a whistle-blowing report. A short while back, Big Chief Nimby decided that the District Council really ought to know all about his visit to an anti-ETSU-R-97 conference. BLoW felt that the Council also had a right to know about the annual RenewableUK conference in Glasgow.

Seems that BLoW didn't waste their time in Glasgow, but were invited to give two presentations on the irresponsible tactics used by VVASP in attempting to corrupt local democracy.

Others have made their views about VVASP's shameless bully-boy tactics known, both in the local press and on the Wychavon website. The report by BLoW now establishes that attempts by the nookies to bully and browbeat those who disagreed with them were an integral part of VVASP's campaign. Basically, VVASP started out by telling lies, then attacked anyone who questioned those lies, and finally forced other institutions (such as the parish councils) to repeat those lies as if they were doing the public's bidding.

In short, Misinformation, Intimidation and Impropriety, as the BLoW report neatly puts it.

This unholy trinity of nimby tactics is hardly unique to the Lenches - other, very similar anti-windfarm nimby groups around the country have stooped just as low as the agitators of VVASP have done. But at least the good souls at BLoW have brought this to the attention of the District Council, indicating that it was only by pursuing a course of dishonesty, spitefulness and skulduggery that the windfarm opponents could hope to get anywhere with their dreadful campaign.

Telling the truth about windfarms and wind power would not have helped their cause one bit. Allowing those in the know to have their views and opinions heard would only prove that VVASP did not have the 'overwhelming majority' of local people on their side, as they have been so fond of claiming, and that their ridiculous stories about windfarms were sheer gobbledegook. And letting the parish councils respond on behalf of their communities, rather than on behalf of VVASP, would only have shown that the fools of VVASP really were in the minority.

Let's hope that the BLoW report helps to open eyes at Wychavon to the unpleasantness unleashed by VVASP, to their mendacious and inexcusable campaign of lies and misplaced fury, and to their concerted attempts to gerrymander the democratic process in the local area. It would be wholly inappropriate if an adverse decision were made in the regard to Lenchwick Windfarm purely on the basis of such misinformation, intimidation and gross impropriety.

VVASP have sought from the word go to mislead and misinform everybody, from District Councillors down to the new arrivals in the area. They have victimised anybody who expressed a view contrary to their ignorant and dishonest stance. And they have tried to pervert every aspect of the planning process in order to serve their selfish ends.

At least Wychavon can no longer claim to be unaware of VVASP's appalling tactics.

Saturday, 13 November 2010


In the Great Windfarm Debate, it's easy to get bogged down in arguments or discussions concerning background noise levels, bird strikes, shadow flicker or house prices. But what's more interesting, in many ways, is the psychological dimension to the protest movement.

Put it this way - would you be inclined to take the anti-windfarm campaign more or less seriously if you knew that it was based more on personality disorders than on objective science?

In 2007, Oliver James published Affluenza, his international study of the effects of what he calls 'Selfish Capitalism'. According to James, there is a sort of Virus that can all too easily be caught by those who get swept up in the status-seeking world of modern consumer capitalism. The people who are most at risk of succumbing to this Virus are those he calls 'Marketing Characters'. They are susceptible to brainwashing and propaganda.

Those affected by the Virus tend to be aggressive, conformist, acquisitive, self-centred, competitive and, by and large, unhappy - depressed, even. They get little or no enjoyment out of life, relationships, etc., and continue to plough their energies back into the treadmill of getting-and-spending. For them, a house isn't a place to live in - it's a status symbol to be compared with those around it.

In one chapter of his book, James seems to recommend a return to the rural values of community and attachment to the land - the land being thought of as a working landscape attuned to the rhythms of the agricultural year. But this notion of the countryside as an antidote to the worst excesses of the Virus-driven Selfish Capitalist kind of dates the book.

The reality in the Lenches is that a very healthy community did exist, up until just a few years ago. An influx of Marketing Characters, bolstered by the economic boom which collapsed with the banking crisis, turned the rural scene into something between a suburban cul-de-sac and a gated community.

It is these newcomers who have fallen prey so readily to the self-serving and deliberately misleading nonsense published over and over again by the hardcore VVASP membership. By making up stories about property values suffering a calamitous fall when the windfarm arrives, the hoodlums of VVASP have got these people where it hurts. The pressure quickly built for these new arrivals to join the gang, to fit in, to imagine that they have become part of the community by making equally noisy and nonsensical pronouncements about the windfarm.

(The reality is that the community - the real one - is kind of still there, just about hanging on, but on the whole completely marginalised and terrorised into silence by the liars and their followers.)

So, in effect, the countryside has fallen victim to the same kind of acquisitive, aggressive and self-centred individual as the city and the suburbs have. Oliver James was wrong (or soon fell out-of-date) - the countryside is no longer an escape from the twisted values of the Selfish Capitalist, because the Selfish Capitalist saw country living itself as a desirable measure of status and invaded a pleasant community, turning it on its head.

Add to that distasteful brew a large contingent of retired people, conservative in their outlook, who are opposed to anything and everything, and you have a problem. The senior members of the community throw up their hands in horror at the thought of anything happening that hasn't happened already, and the new-comers see the windfarm as a threat to their sense of status (i.e., who wants a clean, green, hippy sort of windy thing nearby - that smacks of socialism - when we can have an exclusive, white middle-class monoculture? The irony being that the protesters have called themselves VVASP, which should stand for White Anglo-Saxon Protestants.)

To be honest, it must be difficult to care about the fact that the community payments which would come with the windfarm might fund extra resources, facilities and even teaching staff for Church Lench primary school if you've packed your kids off to an expensive private school in the cosseted south (or, rather, it's not difficult, but you do have to give some thought to others for a change). If - and we mean IF - these people were remotely interested in the community, the Section 106 payments would be something to think about. But these people have no interest in the community, except as something which should reflect their own values and do their bidding when required. So the simple fact that the communities of the area should benefit very happily from the Lenchwick Windfarm is by-the-by.

Oliver James makes no bones about it - such a mindset, informed by Selfish Capitalism, infected by the Virus, is a social, psychological, emotional disaster. It's an illness, and it is wreaking havoc in our society.

For proof of that, one need only look at the Lenches. Once, not so long ago, they offered up a rural alternative to urban living, with rich characters, ancient families, local events and a profound sense of community. Today, they are a playground for the well-heeled and seriously overdrawn, who police it vigorously, ensuring that no one disagrees with their views. It is an arid, festering, seething cauldron of hatred and jealousy, one-up-manship and bigoted intolerance. It is a place where slogans have overtaken debate, where free speech is banned.

The old order would not have put together such a vile, vicious, vacuous protest. For that, we have to thank the Marketing Characters who have pitched up in the Lenches in their droves in recent years, bringing their own particular brand of selfishness and aggression with them.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010


So - in the week when it was revealed that anti-wind farm campaigners could cost England (not the UK - England) £1.3 billion in lost investments, lost business rates, lost community funds and lost job opportunities ... that's right, the twerps of VVASP and others like them continue to prove their profound lack of patriotism and social conscience ... what else have we learnt?

Well, representatives of the political wing of VVASP, otherwise known as the Windfarm Working Party (Copyright: Church Lench Parish Council and Nimbies-R-Us), held a meeting with the Head of Environmental Services at Wychavon District Council.

Some details of this meeting were given by the chair of the WWP and Church Lench PC on Thursday 21st January 2010, after the Parish Council had finished its meeting. Didn't want the public hearing about it, we suppose.

Now, the decision to hire a noise consultant on the basis of his repeated, though not very coherent, criticisms of the government's guidelines on wind farms and noise was taken on or around 30 December 2009 by a member of the Environmental Services Department.

The meeting between the Council officers and the representatives of the Provisional VVASP must have taken place sometime between 9 November 2009 and 21 January 2010.

For reasons best known to himself, the Council officer who took the decision to hire a noise consultant beloved of the nimbies but not taken very seriously by everyone else did so having declared that there was "general concern" in the acoustic industry that ETSU-R-97 (the government's guidelines on wind farms and noise) is "unfit for purpose".

We asked a professional noise consultant about this, and he told us that it's not true. There is not general concern in the industry about ETSU-R-97. So somebody must have convinced the Council officer that there was.

Who might that have been, we wonder.

And then, perhaps, that same person suggested that there was a noise consultant who specialised in making garbled statements about ETSU-R-97, so why didn't the Council hire him?

Hmmnn ... Unsurprisingly, our very own Men-in-Black (BLoW) tell us that the Council is proving rather coy at the moment where this issue is concerned. We do know that three noise consultants were invited by Wychavon to submit their tenders in early December. We know that, at the end of December, a Council officer decided to hire the one without academic qualifications, the one whose reports tend to be all the same, the one who keeps quoting research that no one has ever seen, the one who routinely picks holes in every aspect of an Environmental Statement and the one whose testimony is generally ignored by planning inspectors.

We also know that representatives of the Windfarm Working Party held a meeting with the very guys who chose to appoint the said noise consultant. Sometime roundabout the time that the decision to hire him was taken.

Bet the WWP representatives were absolutely delighted when Wychavon retained the very noise consultant they would have wanted them to hire, don't you think?

Strange, though, that the sort of people who usually rail against wastes of public money were quite happy to see our council taxes frittered away on a noise consultant whose report won't stand up to analysis at the planning appeals stage ... and are just as happy to see England (not the UK - just England) lose out on £1.3 billion, all because of their stupid, nonsensical, illogical and irrational opposition to those lovely windfarms.

Saturday, 6 November 2010


Large areas of the County have average wind speeds sufficient for the generation of energy from wind turbines, with the greatest potential in Bromsgrove and Wychavon districts ...

Thus spake the technical research paper 'Planning for Renewable Energy in Worcestershire', released by Worcestershire County Council in January 2009. It's a shame that this document isn't more widely known. It reveals, for example, that the Community Strategy for Worcestershire (Second Edition 2008 - 2013) includes the following Priority Outcome:

To increase energy efficiency and increase the proportion of energy generated from renewable sources.

The document also indicates that, in order to fulfil the requirements of the Worcestershire Climate Change Strategy targets, 30 2MW wind turbines would need to be installed in the county.

That's right - thirty. 30. Our local bunch of lying, bullying, cheating, conniving nimbies are trying to stop five. Hell of a target to meet by 2011 then, don't you think?

(The target could also be reached through a combination of, say, six turbines, 6,200 solar panels, 20 small hydro-electric schemes and five biomass power plants. Then again, it could just be 30 wind turbines - simpler, really.)

The saddest part of the Worcestershire County Council report comes in the section entitled 'Social Benefits of Renewable Energy in Worcestershire', which kicks off with the confident and uplifting -

Renewable energy can bring real benefits to local communities.

Indeed - elsewhere in the UK, a correlation has been noted between megawatts of wind energy generated and inward investment. In other words, windfarms tend to attract money into a local area. But what's really heartbreaking is paragraph 7.4:

Educating children through ESD [Education for Sustainable Development] on the issues surrounding renewable energy is just one part of a much wider need for effective education across the whole community. People must be properly informed in order to be able to comment effectively on projects that may concern them. Misinformation can be damaging and can portray renewables in too positive or too negative a way. Objective information can be cascaded from local authorities, local strategic partnerships, and national organisations, as well as groups such as Act on Energy.

Nice sentiments. Pity, then, that nobody thought to action that. Where has been the objective information cascading down from our local authorities, etc? Why oh why oh why has it been left to the proven liars and self-centred deception merchants of VVASP to lead the community a merry dance?

Why, in short, have so many people been frightened and bullied into opposing the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm on the most cretinous and unrealistic grounds imaginable just because a bunch of demented dictators in the Lenches don't want to catch sight of a wind turbine from time to time? WHERE WAS THE EFFECTIVE EDUCATION, THE OBJECTIVE INFORMATION? WHERE? WHERE???

There has been so much pain and anguish and misery in the Lenches. None of it, we should hasten to add, was caused by a windfarm that doesn't exist yet. All of it has been caused by those fraudulent, irresponsible social terrorists of VVASP - motto: "Lie First, Don't Ask Questions Later".

If the local authorities had stepped in at an early stage, cascading effective education into the area like paratroopers heading towards Arnhem - well, the loony nimby brigade would have gone ballistic, but it doesn't take much to set them off, and the rest of us would have had some real facts to weigh up.

It's a shame. Our local authorities have utterly failed us in this regard. As far back as January 2009, they had realised how important it was to keep the community informed about the realities of wind power and other renewables.

Unfortunately, the mentalists of VVASP had already started their evil crusade by then.

Friday, 5 November 2010


Check out this link to a clip from the BBC news:-

While a diminishing number of idiots are quoting such renowned experts as Sir Bernard Ingham (Thatcher's old press secretary - not a highly respected individual), the rest of the world is waking up. And, as the news report above makes clear, even the National Grid is campaigning for a massive increase in wind power!

You can tell that the nimbies have lost the argument because they're talking such trash - and doing it ever more hysterically. Don't worry, though. They'll shut up soon enough. They don't really have any ideas of their own, and most of them will start saying, 'Oh, I was all in favour of wind power from the very start!' That's just about their level of dishonesty.

Oh, and by the way - the output from renewables is expected to overtake nuclear by 2013. Nice!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010


It would be interesting to know how many of the hoorays who have objected to the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm on behalf of their horses actually read British Horse, the official magazine of the British Horse Society (BHS).

BHS Scotland had a superb awayday in September when representatives of the access committee and riders' access groups visited Europe's largest wind farm at Whitelee, near East Kilbride, to investigate equine usage.

As the article in the Oct/Nov edition of the magazine goes on to tell us, 'Delegates were met by three horses and their riders from nearby Meadowhead Farm Riding School. They shared their experience of living adjacent to Whitelee and discussed the new and exciting opportunities that Whitelee Windfarm brings to this busy riding school.'

New? Exciting? Did they interview the horses?

Well, according to one of our local nookies (who hasn't ridden a horse in years), the creatures are flighty things and will almost certainly be spooked by a wind turbine a bit of a distance away. The very first objection to the Lenchwick planning application came from someone - not very local - who seemed to feel that horses are more important than society or the planet, because they're more sensitive (or at least their riders are). So, obviously, horses and windfarms don't mix.

Or, rather, they do. Very happily. The first windfarm built in the UK - Delabole - also has a stud and riding stables on site. The owner often rides his horses round the windfarm. An early windfarm. Blades much closer to the ground.

And what's this - BHS Scotland Development Officer, Helene Mauchlen, says 'Wind farms are an increasing feature of rural life and many people are already enjoying satisfying and safe horse riding access around them.'

What? No horses rearing, panicking, running amok at the mere sight of a turbine? That can't be right, surely!

Well, actually, it's true. It's not horses who don't like windfarms, it's (some of) their owners - who, like the other nimbies involved in this fraudulent travesty, objecting to windfarms, would rather use their children, their animals or their elderly relatives to advance their cause than admit that they're just selfish and stupid.

According to the British Horsearticle, ScottishPower Renewables have made a modest donation to help fund a joint UK-wide survey, along with BHS Scotland, of attitudes and experiences connected with horses and windfarms. Ultimately, the reason is probably to help shoot down the maniacal claims of the horsey, anti-windfarm set of Daily Mailreaders who are currently doing their bit to hold the country back.

Still, yet again, it's all good news. Okay, BHS Scotland will be more familiar with windfarms than their soft southern comrades because the Scots are better organised than we are and are already a good way down the road towards a happily renewable future.

So it makes sense that the Scottish branch of the British Horse Society is leading on this one. They know what they're talking about (windfarms are good news for horseriders). Unlike the delusional fools of VVASP, who'll tell any lie going if they think it means people will take them seriously.