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!