Saturday, 29 January 2011


The sermon today is taken from St Paul's second letter to the Thessalonians:

And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
Even him whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders,
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie ...

The Wicked, incidentally, has now ordered his followers to take down their signs, in accordance with a written undertaken given to Wychavon District Council. He has admitted that the ghastly yellow signs were causing problems for people trying to sell their houses.

As for Wychavon - well, a three Act tragedy unfolded last Thursday. And, in the words of one of the Councillors, it's going to cost them "a bomb" if ScottishPower Renewables go to appeal. Which means it will cost the tax-payer a bomb. So, look out for more cuts to the Wychavon budget to cover the unnecessary costs of a planning decision taken entirely by the nimbies.

The day itself. Outside, just before the meeting started, a glaring mob of protesters wearing nauseating T-shirts and waving their placards (just how many of those things did they get made?) were caught jeering and taunting a single supporter of the windfarm live on BBC news. Even the nimbies' Herr Kommandant for the day was seen trying to hush them up - no doubt realising that they had just given the game away live on air. The grotesque intolerance of VVASP had just been clearly demonstrated to the whole of the Midlands.

Inside the Council chamber, things weren't much better. One woman had come along to support her husband, a shareholder in the hugely successful Westmill Wind Farm co-operative. She told Wind of Change:

When I arrived, the hall was pretty packed & I found standing space at the back. Four old people were sitting there, typical "middle England" type people, well spoken, sensible shoes, corduroy trousers, tweed skirts. One of the ladies pointed a spare seat after the four of them which I took ... All was going well until [one of the pro-wind farm speakers] waved at me & I waved back. Well, I could sense the immediate hostility towards me. All eyes from every angle were focused on me with such hatred in their faces ... If I could feel such intimidation in one moment like that, then it is no wonder that people who live in the Lenches surrounded by this vehement bunch are scared to speak out.

According to the Council, there were at least 200 members of the public present - most of them there to glare at and intimidate anyone who knows that windfarms are good things.

The session kicked off with a presentation by the planning officer, the main outcome of which was that the turbines would be almost impossible to see from many vantage points and angles.

Then came the nimby attack, led by Karen Lumley MP, who quoted VVASP's figures on local opposition - you know the ones: the "manipulated" figures which turn a village with way less than 50% of households expressing opposition into one in which 75% of residents are opposed. We can only hope that Mrs Lumley is a little less cavalier with the facts when she's speaking in the House of Commons.

The solicitor, hired by Church Lench at everybody else's expense, gave a pompous lecture on the subject of bats (even though this had not been advanced by Wychavon as grounds for refusal) and made the weird claim that SPR would be guilty of a criminal offence (bat-murder) if they built the windfarm.

One local argued that a handful of holiday businesses in the area would lose around £2 million if the windfarm went ahead. It would have been a more convincing argment if he could prove that the same thing had ever happened anywhere else.

Finally, Big Chief Nookie and his lumbering lieutenant spoke, the latter slyly alluding to a certain windfarm in Lincolnshire and a certain person who has made a series of elaborate and unfathomable claims about noise there (he reckoned he'd been there and heard the ever-elusive thumping noise of the turbines, but failed to mention the fact that the entire family had not actually moved out, and that the local council had, in what was nothing more than a gesture, reduced the rateable value of the farmhouse in question by just one council tax band).

Next came the freedom fighters. ScottishPower Renewables started, followed by a succession of Vale residents who all had experience of windfarms and could testify to the fact that they are not noisy. Sadly, the Councillors of the Development Control Committee weren't listening to any of this. They perked up a little when it was pointed out that Norton & Lenchwick Parish Council had withdrawn from the farcical Windfarm Working Party (oh? mutiny in the ranks?) and did their best not to hear the sensitive testimony of an 18-year old student, who no doubt made them feel very bad about the ludicrous decision they were about to make.

Last of all, a spokesperson for BLoW reminded the committee that they themselves had visited a windfarm, and pointed out that we would all be judged by future generations on the basis of how we responded to a looming crisis.

Then, the Council stopped for tea. One windfarm supporter reported that the only place she felt safe was sitting next to a policewoman in the cafe.

At ten past four, the final Act of the unfolding tragedy commenced. One by one, a succession of Councillors delivered a nonsensical anti-windfarm speech. Clearly prompted and misinformed by VVASP, they repeated, sequentially, pretty much every myth known to Nimbydom. One claimed that no one would ever consider planting a windfarm in the Lenches if it weren't for the massive government subsidies involved.

No one had told her about the joint report prepared by the IEA, OPEC, OECD and the World Bank for the G20 last year, which revealed that governments subsidised renewables to the tune of an estimated US $15 billion in 2010. In 2008, meanwhile, the same governments subsidised fossil fuel-based electricity production to the tune of US $557 billion. That is to say, coal, oil and gas-fired systems receive nearly 40 times as much subsidy as renewables. And as for nuclear - well, don't even ask.

The same Councillor was also clueless when it came understanding how subsidies for renewables work. Renewable Obligation Certificates are only awarded to generators on the basis of the number of kilowatt-hours they actually produce. So only a total pleb with no intention of checking facts/doing homework/talking sense would pretend that SPR wanted to install a windfarm at Lenchwick simply because the government was paying them to do it.

Another myth spun by a Councillor was that "countries which had been leading the field in wind energy were now having second thoughts" - a variant on the lie about Germany and Denmark putting a stop to windfarm developments. Yet another Councillor really did seem to think that larger turbines are "noisier" than smaller ones.

One Councillor, irked by reports of the nimbies' misbehaviour and extraordinary hateful aggression, tried to argue that VVASP are not nimbies. He really ought to get his dictionary out. Another had the temerity and tastelessness to suggest that one of the windfarm supporters (who wasn't actually present at that stage) had only moved up from Cornwall to escape the windfarms down there - a statement that was as loopy and unreasonable as it was unworthy.

For a brief moment, a light shone in the chamber. One Councillor knew all about windfarms because her daughter lives next door to one. She could happily testify that they're not noisy and that they look extremely attractive - in her words, they enhance the landscape. She also referred to a book which VVASP had kindly sent to her (we're not yet sure, but it was probably "The Wind Farm Scam", a quasi-scientific rant which has been effectively debunked by Professor John Twidell, one of the country's leading authorities on wind power and a supporter of Lenchwick Windfarm).

It would be interesting to know whether or not all the Councillors had received the VVASP book (which supplied them with so many of the misleading myths they spouted in the meeting) - and, if so, did they register these gifts?

And what kind of idiot would place more weight on nimby propaganda from a discredited protest group than on the hard science supplied by the experts in these matters, as well as the personal testimony of one of their own colleagues?

The long and the short was that, with the exception of the Councillor who actually knew what she was talking about, every member present voted against the windfarm.

Quite clearly, Wychavon District Council has wholeheartedly embraced the BANANA principle: "Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything". Equally clearly, they had become mouthpieces for a dangerously irresponsible, intolerant, unscrupulous and unprincipled nimby mob. And the likelihood is that this will cost the district thousands and thousands of pounds, as the Council tries - and probably fails - to defend a decision taken on the basis of misinformation.

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a whole pack of lies.

Friday, 28 January 2011


We're still receiving reports and testimonials regarding the planning meeting yesterday, so there will be more on that anon.

For now, though, we think it is noteworthy that the BBC is beginning to question the strange lack of windfarms anywhere in the region.

The West Midlands is rapidly becoming the Area 51 of wind energy. The BBC have reproduced a map which shows that, while other parts of the country are striding forwards and embracing wind energy, our middle region is utterly bereft. The question being asked is: why?

Well, various silly answers have already been forthcoming. Some would like to think that there's not enough wind in the West Midlands. Which is a bit like saying there's not enough soil to plant windfarms on.

But the problem is rather more circular than that. Because there currently aren't any, most local people haven't the foggiest idea what a windfarm really is. And because they know nothing about them, they're easily suckered by the manic anti-windfarm propaganda spread about the place like muck by nimby protesters and their allies in the nuclear lobby.

The situation was made very clear at the Wychavon planning meeting. One Councillor knew all about windfarms because her daughter lives very close to one. So she was able to attest to the fact that they're not noisy and they're really rather wonderful to look at. That Councillor was the only one to vote in favour. She was also the only one who knew what she was talking about.

It is inevitable that more and more windfarms will be installed over the coming years. And, who knows, maybe one day the West Midlands will wake up and realise that it's missing out. And then, all those nimby lies will be exposed as the hogwash they really are.

Until then, sadly, too many people (and way too many Councillors) will continue to fall prey to the nasty nimbies and their insane stories.

Those who know about windfarms tend to support them wholeheartedly. Those who know nothing about them tend to talk a load of crap.

And the West Midlands remains the last bastion of idiot nimbyism. The land of the knave and the home of the twee.

Thursday, 27 January 2011


Answer: never.

The crummy practice of flying a blimp in order to mislead people over what a windfarm will look like has become fairly widespread. Nimby groups do it routinely, even though it's been criticised by planning inspectors who have pointed out that it does nothing but totally misrepresent the scale, shape and location of a windfarm.

You might as well demonstrate what a copse of trees will look like by flying a giant inflatable pig in the air.

Still, nothing stops our manic nimby neighbours, and so the ludicrous blimp was indeed flown for the benefit (?) of Wychavon District Councillors, this Tuesday. Hopefully, they're bright and sensible enough to see through that shabby trick.

During the night preceding the Councillors' site visit, certain public-minded citizens had been out and had removed the grotty and offensive VVASP placards from various parts of the village. These placards have a terrible habit of appearing in huge numbers whenever a politician or councillor happens to be passing through, and a shockingly large number have been attached to things that don't belong to the nimbies. So removing them from public property was a good deed, really.

Anyway, the nimbies cried foul, and today's Evesham Journal has carried a front page piece about the objectors' "anger" at what they call "dirty tricks". No end of fatuous nimby outrage was spewed over the paper, which failed to note that the placards which had been removed had been put in places where they should never have been in the first place.

The paper also forgot to mention the fact that pro-wind posters were removed and destroyed by the evil anti's, who refuse to allow anybody else to express an opinion. So - a few nimby placards removed from public property - SHOCK HORROR!! - but pro-wind posters removed - silence.

And we were wrong when we said that the witless dupes of VVASP were keeping their heads down while the Councillors were examining the site. One chap followed the Councillors' coach around, displaying a VVASP placard all the while. Others stood around looking like something out of Dr Who. The idiot blimp was raised. And, of course, all pro-wind posters had been taken away and hidden.

So VVASP went out of its way to mislead the Council. Ha! What else is new?

Wednesday, 26 January 2011


Tim Yeo, Conservative chair of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, has said this today:

If we want to keep the lights on and create an energy system fit for the future then new rules are needed to fast track energy projects through the UK's notoriously glacial planning system.

If these new policy statements don't put the cleanest forms of energy at the top of the agenda they will leave us dangerously dependent on fossil fuels.

The UK's energy security and our prospects for creating a successful low-carbon economy depend on the Government kick-starting a dash for low-carbon technology, not a new dash for gas.

Tough words. But they echo recent developments at the European level. In the past few days (while the nimbies have been hiding from Councillors visiting the site of the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm), over 200 businesses, politicians and organisations have signed up to a declaration calling for the EU to achieve 100% of its electricity from renewables by 2050.

That would be a massive, fantastic commitment, achievable and necessary. It would mean that Europe really had taken the lead in moving towards a global sustainable economy.

At present, every citizen in the EU pays about 700 euros a year towards foreign fuel imports. While the nimbies are making up stories about excessive subsidies for renewables, the real problem is that each of us is paying far too much for dirty coal, oil and gas, brought in from abroad. A concerted, Europe-wide move towards renewables would obviate the need to buy gas from Russia, for example. We'd have clean, green energy, with no dependency on unreliable foreign governments.

To see the European declaration, which is gathering more support by the day, go to:

So - Europe is beginning to recognise the need for 100% of its energy to come from renewables. The coalition government now recognises that nimbies holding up the planning system are wreaking havoc on our national energy policy.

And now, we hear that a national journalist has started investigating the notorious Windfarm Working Party, that colossal abuse of local democracy driven by the nasty nimbies of Church Lench. Keep watching this space.

So - with twenty-four hours or so to go before the Wychavon decision on the district's first wind farm, lots of news out there. And none of it is very good for the Luddites of VVASP.

Monday, 24 January 2011


Our nasty nimbies claim to be 'Pro-Renewables'. Oh yeah? Actually, they're advised to make that claim by Country Guardian, a shady anti-wind group with links to the nuclear lobby.

But so 'Pro-Renewables' are they, they even have to tell lies about renewables in other people's countries. We saw recently how their claims that Denmark and Germany had given up on wind power simply fail the acid test of truthfulness - both countries are increasing their installed wind capacity, and you can hardly achieve that by putting a stop to windfarm developments.

Typical, though, that a mindless movement in the UK is prepared to rubbish the sterling efforts of other countries, just so that they can damage the national interest of their own country!

So what about Spain? In 2010, renewables supplied an amazing 35% of Spain's electricity - 16% from wind power alone (that's twice as much as dirty old coal managed to generate, and on very windy days, Spanish wind power provided over half of the electricity consumed!)

As a result of their fantastic strides forward, coal-fired power dropped by 34% and gas-fired power by 17% last year (22 gas projects were cancelled). That's excellent news for the environment and common sense - CO2 emissions from Spain's power system fell by 20% last year alone.

And what of that cretinous nimby claim that renewables (and wind) are expensive? Well, in 2009, Spain's renewables industry managed to reduce the overall costs of power generation by 4,830 million euros! Renewables contributed 8,525 millions euros to Spain's GDP and accounted for 3,042 million euros in exports.

In 2010, France became a net importer of electricity from Spain. See, nuclear power fails. Repeatedly. So the renewable nations are now supplying the nuclear nations. Take that, you nuke-friendly nimby nutters!!!

There is a tradition in Spain that, on January 6, children receive gifts from the three wise men. The most feared gift has always been coal - a sign that the child had been naughty. But coal is on the way out in Spain. On that very day - 6 Jan - this year, renewables supplied three-quarters of Spain's electricity needs. Coal accounted for just 4%.

So when one of our nimby jerks complains that ScottishPower Renewables aren't really Scottish - they're Spanish-owned - we can point out that, hey, so what? Spain's already miles ahead of us. If we had any sense, we'd be rushing to copy Spain's example.

Rather than making up stupid stories about windfarms to frighten the children and prop up the nuclear lobby.

Thursday, 20 January 2011


Members of VVASP have received new orders from High Command.

In the light of the Wychavon planning officer's decision to recommend refusal of the windfarm planning application, the planned VVASP demonstration on 25th January has been cancelled. So no re-enactment of all those old zombie movies, then, when the Councillors explore the site of the proposed wind farm. Nimbies have been ordered not to approach the Councillors and on no account to mention that stuff about receiving bribes which was the talk of the Lenches a week or so ago.

No, all drones are to be on their best behaviour - no 'people distraction', as VVASP's Minister for Propaganda quaintly puts it - and only a daft blimp will be allowed to fly, so that the Councillors get a completely misleading idea of what a windfarm looks like. Oh, and if anyone has managed to mislay their stupid NOOKIE placards, please let Dr Evil know and he'll replace them at no extra cost.

So - everybody clear? No snarling, swearing or hurling abuse at the Councillors, got it? Let's try and look like decent, civilised human beings (after all, it's only for one day, and even VVASP should be able to manage that, yes?) Everybody is to creep around their houses, not making a sound, and if a Councillor should happen to pass by, simply say, "Oh, lawks a lordy, master, what will become of us all if that there windy farm takes place?" and pretend that you live in Candleford.

Come the day of the planning decision, VVASP will be herded up at three separate locations and driven by coach to the Council building. Any demonstration outside the building will be entirely for the benefit of the press, as VVASP have noticed that the Councillors will actually be enjoying a light lunch at the time. It's quite possible, of course, that the Councillors will be discussing why a group which has badgered and browbeaten them for two whole years should suddenly disappear when they turn up to look around the area. Normally, VVASP go to desperate lengths to inflate their numbers, so why are they hiding behind the sofa, all of a sudden?

All very suspicious, eh? And all because the planning officer took the nimby arguments at face value.

It's amazing, isn't, what a difference a week makes.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011


Dr Johnson said "Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel."

If he was alive today, maybe he'd change that to "Nimbyism is the last refuge of the scoundrel."

One thing we can say about nimbies - no one is more unpatriotic than they are.

How can we prove this? Well, let's take a nimby myth that's been doing the rounds for a while. Germany and Denmark have made great strides in wind energy over the years, and both have considerably more windfarms than the UK does. But the nimbies have been telling everybody that Germany and Denmark have stopped building windfarms. Basically, they want to mislead everybody into believing that tired old nonsense about windfarms "not working".

In fact, if you look at the figures supplied by the Danish Energy Agency and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, you'll find that installed wind capacity in both countries is still rising.

How can that be, if they've both stopped building windfarms?

Denmark saw its installed wind capacity level out over a four-year period, between 2004 and 2008. During that period, old wind turbines were replaced by modern ones. And because modern turbine design means that they can harness the wind more efficiently, the total output remained constant even though there were fewer turbines operating in Denmark.

Then, from 2008 onwards, installed wind capacity began to rise again. And in Germany, it's been rising steadily since 1991.

Now, of course, if you're intent on misleading people into thinking (wrongly) that Europe's wind energy frontrunners have given up on wind power, just because you don't want a windfarm where you might be able to see it, then, well, you're lying in order to make sure that the UK lags even further behind its friendly competitors.

Another stupid myth. One dingbat wrote to the paper a while back stating that the consumer paid more for electricity in Denmark, and this was because wind power was expensive, and therefore wind power is wrong.

Well, Danes do pay a bit more for their electricity than we do. That's because of the Danish tax system. In terms of generating cost, electricity is in fact much cheaper in Denmark than in Britain. The reason for that is wind power.

So, as usual, the nimbies aren't only wrong. They're out by about 180 degrees. They couldn't be more wrong if they tried.

All this anti-windfarm nimby nonsense is guaranteed to hold the country back. Britain is currently third-from-bottom in the European wind energy league table. If the nimbies had their way, we'd be in last place. And saving our pennies in order to buy electricity off those European neighbours who had the decency and common sense to invest in renewables.

Why should anyone hate their country so much? We all know that nimbies are fundamentally selfish, as well as constitutionally dishonest and chronically misguided. But are they really so selfish that they would betray their own country's vital interests - as well as future generations - even though, by doing so, they gain NOTHING?

Do they have to tell pointless lies about other countries - countries which have at least bothered to generate lots of cheap, clean, green energy - purely in order to jeopardise their own country's economic future?

You'd think they were a bunch of fifth columnists, or something. Sleeper cells working for Al-Qaeda, maybe. Definitely spies and saboteurs in league with an enemy power.

Maybe that's what they are, at heart. Traitors. The enemy within.

Monday, 17 January 2011


The report compiled by Wychavon District Council's planning officer concerning the Lenchwick Windfarm planning application was published today. A press release reported that the planning officer has recommended refusal of the planning application on the following counts:

Residential Amenity

This, of course, was the same planning officer who was libelled by VVASP's head honcho last summer. On various nimby websites, Dr No stated that the planning officer was "biased" and "minded to approve" the planning application. It would appear that, as usual, the Chief Nookie was saying whatever he felt like with scant regard for the facts.

Anyway, while the planning officer's report might have nixed the planning application at the Development Control Committee stage - not a foregone conclusion, but a likelihood - the Council has in fact only stored up trouble for itself if, as seems likely, ScottishPower Renewables refer the application to a planning inquiry.

Take the first objection - Landscape. The problem with the planning officer's objection here is that it flies in the face of the advice supplied by the District Council's very own Landscape Officer. Early in 2009, the Landscape Officer observed that -

In purely landscape terms there may, therefore, be no special reasons to refuse wind turbines here any more than anywhere else in the district ... in the light of Government guidance on renewable energy and our own policy, and in the absence of any special landscape designation, I feel it may well be difficult to defend refusal of an application in respect of landscape issues at any planning appeal.

It will be interesting to see whether Wychavon can in fact defend the planning officer's recommendation when the Planning Inspectorate get involved.

And then, noise. Oh, boy. Wychavon really could have got themselves into a right pickle here.

Let's first take note of the representation filed by the usual solicitor on behalf of the six parish councils (yep - yet more tax-payers' money blown on dodgy objections!). Not for the first time, the solicitor argues that the "Parish Councils, through their joint working group, representing the overwhelming majority of their residents, submitted a 20 page detailed reasoned response to the application". Nice to think that the solicitor considers his own work to be both detailed and reasoned - especially when you look at the strangely vituperative letters he's been sending to ScottishPower Renewables.

But, hang on - what was that about the "overwhelming majority of their residents"? Sorry - whose residents? Church Lench managed a majority - 57% of households opposed - which can hardly be called "overwhelming". Of the other five parishes, two returned minorities of opponents and three didn't bother polling their residents at all.

So, as with most nimby statements, the solicitor's claim of an "overwhelming majority" is confidently stated but completely unsubstantiated. For the simple reason that it's not true.

Now, here's the rub. As readers of this blog will know, Wychavon chose its noise consultant on the grounds that there was "general concern" in the acoustic industry that the government's guidelines on wind farm noise assessment and rating (ETSU-R-97) were "unfit for purpose". Again - not true. But, on that mistaken basis, Wychavon chose to hire a consultant known for his oppositional stance to the established guidelines.

General concern amongst noise experts about ETSU-R-97? If that phrase rings a bell, it's because Big Chief Nookie has also used it. It's a sort of nimby mantra. But how the District Council formed the same misguided opinion is a bit of a mystery.

Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that unnamed representatives of the Anti-Windfarm Working Party were holding meetings with Wychavon's officers at the time. And one member of the "joint working group" - an ex-District Councillor, in fact - continued to badger Council officers in order to convince them, wrongly, that the government's guidelines on wind farms and noise could be "overruled".

Try telling that to the government.

Anyway, having secured the noise consultant they wanted, VVASP duly trumpeted his findings. No mention was made of the fact that the consultant in question regularly takes money from nimby groups and refers repeatedly to "research" that has never been peer-reviewed or, for that matter, seen by others in the industry.

One of the claims made in the MAS Environmental report on noise was that SPR's noise consultants had underestimated the noise output from the proposed windfarm to the tune of 5 decibels. But another of the noise experts initially approached by Wychavon has assured one of our correspondents that this claim is absolutely ludicrous. It was, as this expert confirmed, "impossible" that SPR's distinguished consultants could be 5 decibels out.

However, the planning officer at Wychavon has taken this "impossible" claim at face value. And, purely on the basis of that unsubstantiated claim, he has recommended refusal.

Reports by MAS Environmental don't tend to survive the Planning Inspectorate stage. And the fact that VVASP - via its Windfarm Working Party - was bending the ears of Council officers in order to mislead them over the status of the government's guidelines, a process which led to the retaining of a maverick noise consultant whose unsubstantiated and "impossible" claims provided the sole basis for the planning officer's recommendation ... well, it's unlikely that Wychavon will come out of the planning appeal stage smelling of roses.

As for Residential Amenity - well, that's a subjective opinion. And Highways? Come on - are they trying to say that transporting turbines along a major motorway can't happen? How on earth did all those other turbines find their way to their destinations?

So, all in all - it's unquestionably a blow for windfarm supporters, and all those villagers who have suffered at the hands of VVASP, that the planning officer has recommended refusal. But those very recommendations present an invitation to the Planning Inspectorate to criticise the District Council for being rather too ready to listen to the uninformed opinions of the nimbies.

At best, Wychavon has bought itself a bit of time and given the Development Control Committee an excuse to pass the whole problem on to the Planning Inspectorate. Which would mean more time, more stress, more money spent ...

And, on the face of it, Wychavon will indeed find it very difficult to defend these decisions at the planning appeal stage. It would appear that VVASP have made complete fools of them.

Sunday, 16 January 2011


Countryfile. BBC. Sunday, 16 January. Geoffrey Palmer, the hangdog actor, rails against HS2 - the high-speed rail-link promoted by successive British governments.

Mr Palmer lives in a pleasant and expensive part of the Chilterns and doesn't want a railway nearby. He claims that the economic case for the HS2 has not been proven.

Now, it would be churlish to point out that Britain's economic growth in the past was stimulated by mail coaches, canals and motorways. Oh, and railways, of course. The fact is that HS2 is simply the latest in a long line of developments which, by making it possible to travel and convey goods from one part of the country to another, brought us into the modern age. So the claim that the economic case for HS2 is unproven is - well, basically, it's nonsense.

It's the equivalent of the "windfarms don't work" argument - a line which collapses the moment you realise that windfarms do work. Pretty well, in fact.

But, like the ludicrous arguments deployed by the windy nimbies, the anti-HS2 arguments are fundamentally flawed, unsupported by any evidence and entirely self-serving. It's what we call "confirmation bias" - you decide to oppose something and then go hunting high and low for any "evidence" which appears to confirm your stance, blithely ignoring the great weight of evidence that proves you wrong. In the case of nimbies, up and down the country, what that means in practice is that you'll believe - and endlessly regurgitate - no end of claptrap, while bullying anyone who knows better than you do.

On the Countryfile report, they showed Middle Englanders holding their ears while a recording of a high-speed train was played to them at full volume.

Now, if you happen to be lying on the tracks, you might find the sound of a train passing overhead quite noticeable. Just as if you happen to be standing inside a wind turbine mast, the chances are you'll hear the sound of the mechanism working.

The point, of course, is that most of us won't be lying down between the HS2 tracks or standing inside a turbine mast - and anyone who's minded to do so really ought to think twice about it. But by playing recordings of that nature - and doing so at top volume - the nimbies are grossly distorting the reality of the situation. Let's face it: even Geoffrey Palmer isn't going to be lying underneath every high-speed train which passes by.

A very similar, equally shabby tactic was attempted by our very own nimbies. King Nimby reckoned he'd managed to get hold of a recording of a windfarm in Cumbria. He was apparently unable to say when this recording was made and where the microphone was positioned. He said it was the sound of a windfarm (yeah, right), and one of his witless drones tried playing it as loud as possible through a mobile amplifier until the police were called and told them to stop it.

Only a complete idiot (or VVASP-supporter, as they're also known) would have fallen for that one. Anyone who had taken the trouble to visit a real windfarm would instantly know that King Nimby and his VVASP clones were trying to pull a fast one. It was a cheap and shabby stunt - rather like flying a blimp which looks like nothing a wind turbine in order to give people a completely false impression (such behaviour has been criticised at planning inquiries, but that won't stop the naughty nimbies doing it again and again).

No, nimbies everywhere are remarkably similar. They are the UK's answer to the Tea-Party Movement in the US. Pumped up on hate-fuelled propaganda, desperate to lash out at anything and anyone, ruthlessly manipulated by dangerous demagogues, selfish, deluded and morally indefensible, these movements are a major threat to democracy, society, human rights and the environment. They are the last refuge of the swivel-eyed right-winger - the sort who think Sarah Palin and Eric Pickles are capable of cogent reasoning. The sort who would sell their neighbours, their communities and their countries downriver for thirty pieces of silver.

They are Flat-Earthers, each and every one.

Saturday, 15 January 2011


Someone who tells lies and believes those lies - who sees nothing wrong with telling those lies - is a psychopath.

The Mental Health Act defines any personality disorder which results in "seriously irresponsible or abnormally aggressive behaviour" as a psychopathic disorder.

H. Checkley, in The Mask of Sanity (1976) described the syndrome of primary psychopathy. To quote from Faulk's Basic Forensic Psychiatry (Third Edition):

At first sight the subject appears normal, charming, intelligent and articulate with low anxiety. The history, however, reveals extremely egocentric, impulsive and bizarre behaviour, which, in the long run, is against the subject's interest. Legal confrontation may be avoided indefinitely because of the subject's intelligence and charm, and prominent positions in society may be attained until the true picture emerges.

Well, that true picture has emerged over the past two years. It is now plain and clear for all to see.

The VVASP campaign is being run by psychopaths. It is psychopathic to the core. It is based entirely on lies and fuelled by the egocentricity of the VVASP leadership. It is both seriously irresponsible and abnormally aggressive - and it has been from the very start. And it is bizarre, because a measured examination of the evidence reveals that the Lenchwick Windfarm is most likely to represent a positive benefit to the local community, to the region and the nation. So to fight it - and especially to do so using lies and thuggery - is clearly against everybody's interests.

Under any other circumstances, the behaviour of VVASP's senior figures would have been identified as anti-social, extremist, fanatical, deluded and dangerous to the fabric of society.

We at Wind of Change have identified the problem here before. There is one word for it, and word word only.


The psychopaths are running the show. And they're trying to turn the rest of the community mad in order to serve their own narrow-minded, egocentric and selfish interests. Which is why the entire community have and continue to suffer at the hands of these psychopathic personalities.

And now Wychavon District Council is beginning to get a taste of the insanity which these psychopaths have unleashed.

Thursday, 13 January 2011


If Limbo Dancing were an Olympic sport, you'd be forgiven for thinking that VVASP were in training for London 2012.

Now they're exploring whole new levels of lowness. Extraordinary subterranean depths. They have scraped through the bottom of the barrel and are frantically scrabbling in the earth with their ravaged fingertips.

Regular readers of this blog will be astonished to hear that the protesters have excelled on their previous efforts by visiting strata that few have ever plummeted towards. Or maybe not.

A full-page ad in today's Evesham Journal calls on the people of the Vale to rise up, march on the Council's offices and stand there threatening the elected members of the District Council until they obey VVASP's orders without question.

That's right. Having bullied and threatened and harassed and attacked and hectored and coerced their neighbours, VVASP are now trying to do the same to the Development Control Committee.

In a maniacal attempt at stirring up public panic, VVASP's latest claim is that "5000 trucks" will pass through Norton and Harvington, carrying concrete up to Bishampton Bank.

Forget the fact that haulage companies already operate out of the Lenches. Forget the fact that new houses built in Harvington mean that lorries carrying far more in the way of building materials than the windfarm will ever need have been passing through the village for years. And forget the fact that "5000 trucks" is a figure plucked out of thin air.

Oh - and you might as well forget the fact that when ScottishPower Renewables did a test-run of a low-loader to the windfarm site and back last summer, nobody noticed.

Blatantly, by lying their heads off (again!) VVASP are hoping to whip up a frenzy of mindless hysteria which they can then unleash against Wychavon District Council on the 27th.

Didn't we tell you that the nimbies are growing desperate? Doesn't this prove their absolute contempt for democratic principles, their preference for mob-rule instead of free speech, and their failure to win the argument (even after a torrent of lies), so that all they have left to try is the shameless intimidation of the planning committee.

The thugs and frauds are trying to make out that everybody in the Vale will find their "way of life" changed when five wind turbines appear at the top of Bishampton Bank. What the hell is that supposed to mean?

What they mean, of course, is that a handful of arrogant and aggressive individuals will be able to see a windfarm if they face in a certain direction. Hardly a change to the "way of life" of anybody in the Vale. And when they call on local people to "protect" their "way of life" by storming the Council offices on 27 January, what VVASP are really saying is - "Come on, all you who won't be remotely affected by this wonderful development - come and fight for our privileges! Come and defend our immoral, antisocial behaviour! Come and terrorise your councillors over something we've continually lied to you about! Come and help us overthrow democracy!

"And then we'll tell you what you can and cannot do or say or think in your own villages!!

"Altogether, now:


Wednesday, 12 January 2011


Signs of desperation in the nimby camp are appearing thick and fast.

Not content merely to hurl extremely serious allegations about our democratically-elected representatives about the place, the loons of VVASP are now trying to frighten the good people of Harvington by claiming that "thousands" of trucks will be going through their village.

"Thousands"? Why not say "millions"? Why not - "Eight hundred trillion pantechnicons will crash through your living room and ruin your nice new rug"?

Meanwhile, the solicitor retained by VVASP - sorry, the Anti-Windfarm Working Party - is getting rather hot under the collar. Vide his latest blast, lobbed at ScottishPower Renewables and copied to his obscure "clients" and the Wychavon planning officer.

It's all to do with bats, apparently. A relatively calm report on ecology and habitat was filed by Baker Consultants. SPR duly responded. The solicitor went wild.

It doesn't help that, after several months of correspondence, the solicitor gets the name of the person he's writing to wrong. And, reading back through that correspondence, it's almost impossible to figure out what point he's trying to make. Rather like a drunk who's determined to start an argument, he takes any old sentence from the last SPR letter and conjures up all manner of strange assertions and bizarre scenarios - and all this in language which strays from legalese into something approaching abuse.

Of course, he's working for a fee (although he did halve a recent invoice because the incompetent nimbies of Church Lench Parish Council had overspent their "Windfarm Working Party" budget and he didn't want to make them look bad). And who pays the piper calls the tune. Which means that, in this case, a glaring non-issue is being treated as if it's proof positive that ScottishPower Renewables are in league with the devil and determined to murder bats - even ones that don't exist!

Now, we at Wind of Change are anything but anti-bat. We rather like the creatures, and we certainly don't want to see them harmed in any way.

But trying to pick a fight over whether one set of recordings used unidirectional or omnidirectional mikes is, well, let's face it, clutching at straws. And going off on one over SPR's reasonable point that most nature conservation agencies have recognised the need to mitigate the effects of climate change for the sake of the natural world - riffing hilariously on the ramifications of that dangerously irresponsible viewpoint (at one stage, he seems to suggest that such an argument, logically, should mean buying air-conditioning units to keep the bats happy and forgetting all about renewables) - well, that's not clutching at straws. That's drowning in a sea of hopelessness.

He's been told to savage SPR over bats. It's about the only thing the nimbies who run Church Lench reckon might scupper the plans. Unfortunately, though, the poor solicitor's got nothing to go on. The nookies of Lench keep sending him into battle with a pea-shooter. And no peas.

And who's paying for these letters? Who keeps saying, "Go on, write to them again" (even though he knows that he can do little more than smear a sheet of paper with something smelly and post it)? Well, guess who.

The people of the area who don't oppose the windfarm are paying for all this nonsense. The dark forces behind the "Windfarm Working Party" (which knows nothing about windfarms and has done nothing to enlighten itself) keep shoving him forward, snarling: "Go on, hit her! Here's some money - now hit her!" And the money they keep giving him is what you paid in taxes.

Value for money? No, not really. Especially when all the poor chap can do is wave a used tissue in SPR's face and make a noise like Chewbacca.

So - the big question: if the Anti-Windfarm Fig-Leaf Committee is paying for yet more pointless epistles - "Go on, call her a rude word! Go on!" - does that mean that there won't be any money left to pay for the solicitor to address the planning committee on behalf of twelve angry men and a rather bored dog? Have they given up on that plan, knowing that Wychavon District Council has heard plenty about this dodgy Working Party and the game might be up? Are these febrile attempts at hurting SPR's feelings simply the last gasp of a failed protest campaign?

Let's hope so.

Monday, 10 January 2011


As we amble along towards the special meeting of the Development Control Committtee later this month, inevitably the nookies of VVASP are whipping up hatred and hysteria. You'd hope that recent developments in the United States, which seem to link hate-fuelled political propaganda with the shooting of politicians and nine-year old children, might have forced a rethink in such immoral activities. But no. VVASP continues to do what it has always done: spread fear and loathing by withholding useful information and peddling ludicrous myths.

Currently, VVASP would appear to be concentrating on two areas of concern. Noise, it would seem, is rather off the agenda (it was recently discovered that VVASP had been telling the inhabitants of a travellers' site at the bottom of Hipton Hill that the noise from the turbines would be "deafening"!), probably because it's a bit of a non-starter.

No, the two issues VVASP are exploiting to whip up the mob are house prices and shadow flicker.

House prices, first. It's perhaps a measure of the need some people feel for conformity that certain Lenchians are still prepared to believe that the windfarm will drive the value of their property down. This mad claim was one of those which the ASA rubbished, pointing out that VVASP had no evidence to support it and that they had selectively misquoted a report which in fact concluded that there is no clear correlation between windfarms and house prices.

Furthermore, the briefing document which appeared in the House of Commons Library a short while ago examines a variety of studies and concludes that, while there is no evidence at all of windfarms having a negative effect on house prices, there is some evidence which suggest that property values rise faster in proximity to a working windfarm.

So not only are VVASP spreading fear about something that is categorically not true - they're deliberately misleading their neighbours over the potential positive impact of the windfarm on their house prices!!!

Next, shadow flicker. It's clear that hardly anybody in the area knows what this is. Shadow flicker is a rare and unusual phenomenon and its effects can be mitigated. Windfarm developers know what causes it (and it only happens within a short range of turbines, under certain conditions, and in rooms which windows of a particular size), which means that they have been able to take steps to avoid it.

In short, shadow flicker isn't really an issue.

But what the nimbies keep going on about (if only they knew it) is something else altogether - shadow casting. Again, only something that happens within a defined area, and not something which has ever been proven to cause problems. Indeed, a progamme shown on BBC4 last night, about the Normans, had the presenter talking to camera as he walked through a windfarm in Normandy in a bright and breezy day. The "noise" of the windfarm was pretty much non-existent (which is why he was able to talk to the camera throughout), and the sweeping shadows of the blades were confined to a pretty narrow radius.

Of course, if you can point out that shadow flicker has, in the past, proven to be a nuisance, and you can then confuse people over what shadow flicker is (pretending, for example, that it's the same as shadow casting), then you can whip up yet more madness for your own devious ends.

But there's something that VVASP almost certainly haven't told anybody. In November 2008 (at the very time that VVASP was setting itself up specifically to fight ScottishPower Renewables, and less specifically to fight anybody who did not agree with them), Worcestershire County Council published its final report on renewables.

Independent consultants had identified a range of sites in Worcestershire which would be ideally suited for windfarm developments.

Church Lench, it was determined, was well-placed to support a windfarm of six large turbines (one more than is actually proposed) and there were no clear grounds for opposing them.

Bishampton and Throckmorton (just down the road) could support six large turbines and four large turbines respectively. Only in the case of Throckmorton airfield was it deemed relevant to note that there are properties nearby.

Overall, some twenty-five sites throughout Worcestershire were identified as being essentially windfarm-friendly. The three mentioned above were in the first category of sites "which present few substantial barriers to development".

You can read the full report here:

So, while VVASP continue to promote the fiction that they are poor downtrodden villagers being unfairly menaced by a major energy concern, the reality is that their county council had already spotted that Church Lench and several surrounding areas were just right for wind energy developments.

What next? Will VVASP start spreading the rumour that Worcestershire County Councillors have been taking backhanders as well?

Sunday, 9 January 2011


Anyone who thinks that the windfarm issue is a small, localised one is desperately out-of-touch. But then, that's what happens if you listen to VVASP.

Wind energy is currently a bit of a sticking point between the world's superpower and the pretender to that title. The US is very unhappy about China's 'subsidies' to its own wind turbine manufacturers. China has doubled its capacity pretty much year on year since 2005 - it is now the world leader in wind generating capacity.

The US isn't far behind. Take Texas, usually thought of as the Oil State. Texas has invested massively in wind energy. Just don't mention climate change. In Texas, where it's considered heresy to do so, it is the economics of wind power which make total sense.

So, while the US and China slug it out over who's the daddy when it comes to generating wind energy, Europe is also forging ahead. The European Wind Energy Association has studied all 27 National Renewable Energy Action Plans from EU member states. If the commitments are met, then the EU will exceed its target of 20% electricity from renewable sources by the end of this decade.

In fact, 34% of Europe's energy is expected to come from renewables by 2020. 14% of that - by far the highest proportion - will come from wind. And with the UK set to generate 78.3 terrawatt-hours of electricity from wind alone in 2020, we will finally have climbed the league table, from third-from-bottom to second place, behind Germany.

While the fanatics of VVASP - currently doing all they can to whip up looney hysteria in advance of the planning meeting - seek to pretend that they are somehow alone on this planet, the rest of the world is taking wind energy extremely seriously. The United States seem to be embarrassed and angry at the fact that China is way ahead of them on this score, and Europe is looking in good shape to deliver a pretty impressive percentage of wind energy by 2020.

By the way, VVASP's latest shockingly shoddy gambit is to claim that, if - that is, IF - the Lenchwick Windfarm gets the go-ahead from Wychavon District Council, it will only be because money has changed hands.

Yep, that's right. The thugs and frauds of VVASP are preparing the ground for their imminent trouncing by spreading the rumour that Wychavon District Councillors might be taking bribes!!!

Now, okay, we're used to the manic nimbies stooping lower than a snake's bottom and spreading rumours of a truly disgusting nature. But this really does represent a new low. They're saying that, if they lose the battle of Lenchwick, it won't be because they have lied repeatedly and never really had a leg to stand on. It'll be because their democratically-elected local representatives are corrupt.

Ah well. Takes one to know one, eh?

Friday, 7 January 2011


You can tell when the nimbies are on the ropes and panicking slightly because they start saying some really strange things.

Take the person who has commented on the Wychavon District Council website calling for a survey of all supporters of the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm to find out how many live 600-800 metres from a windfarm.

We support this idea, and would also call upon the Council to find out how many objectors are Sagittarians, how many are left-handed and how many like their eggs sunny-side-up.

Of course, the Council has more important things to worry about, right now. But it's interesting, isn't it, to note that the nookies feel that only people currently living within a kilometre of wind turbines should be allowed to support them. If this was flipped around, and only people currently living within a kilometre of a windfarm were allowed to object to the Lenchwick development, the number of objectors would be reduced to ... nil.

By a similar token, only people living within a mile of a nuclear power station should be allowed to oppose nuclear power, and only people with fins should be allowed to worry about our depletion of the ocean's fish stocks.

The person who made this daft observation really should be kept away from sharp objects. It's a typical nimby manoeuvre. Only mad anti-windfarm protesters, pumped up on VVASP's lies, are allowed to have a say. Everyone else - and especially those who have taken the trouble to visit windfarms and understand the issues involved - must be silenced. That's how VVASP work.

Here's another example of lousy nimby thinking. Needled by a report submitted by BLoW about the viciousness and deviousness of VVASP behaviour, the clerk to Church Lench Parish Council was told to respond (none of the other five Parish Councils concerned has bothered).

The good news is that the nimbies are finally willing to admit that nearly thirty per cent of the parishioners polled in 2009 didn't bother to reply (so, naturally, they are automatically disenfranchised - still, makes a difference from VVASP claiming "82% of residents against").

The clerk also admits that the Lord of the Nimbies offered to help the "chair" of Church Lench Parish Council find some new parish councillors. No kidding. It's a bit like Robert Mugabe offering to help find some suitable Zimbabwean politicians.

Except that ... how can a Parish Council which doesn't exist (because its members have been forced to resign) have a "chair"? How was this individual appointed "chair"?

The clerk goes on to insist that the Windfarm Working Party did not agree to work alongside VVASP. This, according to the clerk to the nimbies, is erroneous, factually incorrect and defamatory.

Except that Church Lench Parish Council's minutes from July 2009 make it abundantly clear that VVASP and the Working Party agreed to divvy up responsibilities and share the workload. And, of course, the Working Party declared that VVASP should have sole responsibility for "educating" the community, even though Worcestershire County Council had already declared that it was the job of local authorities to pass effective and reliable education about renewables to the communities concerned.

(Further proof that the Windfarm Working Party was operating in complete ignorance of or contempt for the law can be found in the document, released in November 2007, concerning Councils' Powers to Discharge their Functions, which was published by NALC. This clearly states that 'Working Groups' and 'Working Parties' are committees covered by the 1972 Local Government Act, and are therefore subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. The Working Party has consistently argued that it is not covered by the FoI Act and can keep their activities secret. Evidently, just as the Working Party made no attempt to find out about windfarms, so they didn't try very hard to understand the law.)

The clerk states that the purpose of the Working Party was to provide "good communication" between the six affected Parish Councils. Where's the evidence of that "good communication"? And then, the clerk says that the Working Party was established to prevent duplication of effort. Basically, it meant that all six Parish Councils would not have to pay independently for legal advice or noise measurement surveys.

But realistically, how many of the six Parish Councils were likely to have consulted a solicitor and organised an "independent" noise measurement survey? The only Parish Council that was really interested in wasting public money on such things was the new-look Church Lench PC with its massive nimby bias. The others were fleeced of several hundred pounds and then told to submit a solicitor's response without much in the way of consultation. That's the "good communication" we were hearing about.

The noise measurement survey, part-funded by our own Parish Councils, revealed that the figures supplied by ScottishPower Renewables in the planning application were accurate. Not one Parish Council asked to see the results of the noise survey. One has to ask, how many of them were really bothered? And how many members of the public - who to all intents and purposes paid for that survey - have been told that ScottishPower Renewables' figures are good?

The real killer statement from the clerk is this one: "The logic of the working party is self-evident; one small parish council can have little effect in representing the views of the great majority of their parishioners against those of a multinational giant such as Iderbrola."

That is Church Lench speaking, because there was and is no such "great majority" in the other parishes (and not much of a majority in Church Lench). The decision to refer to the parent company, rather than ScottishPower Renewables, is also typical of the nimby movement. The clerk and her councillors are damned by their very own words. They used the money of the Parish Councils where there was no majority of opinion against the windfarm to fund their own witless campaign against the developer.

Again: "It is only by combining the skills, abilties and cash resources of several councils that one can hope to affect the outcome."

She might have added - "and by ignoring opinion polls, democracy and the law." So Church Lench had committed itself to affecting the outcome of the planning application before that planning application had arrived. That's a clear breach of Parish Council responsibilities (they're supposed to remain neutral and impartial until there's a planning application for them to look at). And, as the clerk's wording makes abundantly clear, one Parish Council had decided to ponce off the others in order to pursue its own policy, regardless of the views of the public who, without knowing it, were funding all this nonsense.

Perhaps if the Windfarm Working Party had simply tried to research windfarms (as they said they were going to when they were trying to get their hands on everybody else's money), there might have been some merit in the scheme. And if they'd bothered to check up on the law, rather than blithely insisting that they were accountable to nobody.

Maybe a survey should be carried out to discover how many members of the Windfarm Working Party have ever been 600-800 metres from a windfarm.

Thursday, 6 January 2011


In its 2007 document, 'Meeting the Energy Challenge', the DTI published a 'Renewables Statement of Need'. It should be required reading for all Wychavon District Councillors.

Take this paragraph:

New renewable projects may not always appear to convey any particular local benefit, but they provide crucial national benefits. Individual renewable projects are part of a growing proportion of low-carbon generation that provides benefits shared by all communities both through reduced emissions and more diverse supplies of energy, which helps the reliability of our supplies. This factor is a material consideration to which all participants in the planning system should give significant weight when considering renewable proposals. These wider benefits are not always immediately visible to the specific locality in which the project is sited. However, the benefits to society and the wider economy as a whole are significant and this must be reflected in the weight given to these considerations by decision makers in reaching their decisions.

(Our emphasis)

And then there's this bit, which should be read by all Parish Councillors - especially those who ought to be hanging their heads in shame:

PPS22 makes clear that regional planning bodies and local authorities should not make assumptions about the technical and commercial feasibility of renewable energy projects, and that possible locations for renewable energy development must not be ruled out as unsuitable in advance of full consideration of the application and its likely impacts ...

What else did the raging nimbies of Church Lench Parish Council and its Anti-Windfarm Working Party do, but make assumptions about the technical and commercial feasibility of the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm and endeavour to rule out the location before they'd even seen the planning application? This was precisely what the original Parish Council was determined to avoid doing - which is why they had to be bullied into resigning, so that they could be replaced by people who had VVASP placards and stickers plastered all over their property.

So ... 'crucial national benefits' ... 'benefits shared by all communities' ... 'benefits to society and the wider economy' ... the very things that VVASP and its pet Parish Councillors committed themselves to opposing.

Maybe it's the idea of 'benefits' that they just can't stand.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011


If ever there was a headline guaranteed to cause apoplexy among the membership of VVASP, it must be that one!

However, it actually relates to an NOP opinion poll. Residents near Stroud in Gloucestershire were invited to express their opinions about a proposed windfarm for Berkeley Vale. The results are very interesting indeed - you can find them here:

Of course, the Lenchwick area has never properly been polled. We know that three Parish Councils surveyed their residents in March 2009. This led to accusations from VVASP at the time that the Parish Councils hadn't given the protest group enough chance to misinform the public about windfarms (four months of evil propaganda clearly wasn't sufficient, in VVASP's warped view, to mislead the community). VVASP very quickly managed to dispose of one of the Parish Councils concerned and attempted to get rid of one of the others, too.

But the polls revealed that the majority of local residents weren't opposed to the plans - many of them couldn't be bothered to respond. That gave VVASP the opportunity to disenfranchise a substantial number of local residents and grossly to misrepresent the outcome. According to VVASP, 82% of Church Lench parish was against the windfarm. According to mathematics, just 57% of households expressed opposition.

Even more amazing, in Harvington - where the Parish Council instantly set itself up as a manic nimby group - a mere 31% of household raised their voices against. That's right - 31%! So, of course, their parish councillors threw public money at VVASP, because democracy means nothing, does it?

Anyway, what the opinion poll in the Stroud area reveals is what is repeated in polls nationally. The majority of people support windfarms.

And as the link above indicates, a crazed minority make all the fuss against them. Some local councillors fall into the trap of assuming that the noisy nimbies represent the majority. In that way, the demented opponents of wind power hold the UK back and cost us all a great deal of money.

Let us hope that the councillors of Wychavon have the wisdom and common sense to recognise that VVASP represent only themselves - and that the majority, around Lenchwick as elsewhere, supports wind energy, but tends to do so rather quietly.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011


It's like buses. You wait months for a response from ScottishPower Renewables, and then four come along at once.

A quick glance at the Wychavon District Council website reveals that, on the very last day of 2010, a series of documents were uploaded. These include SPR's response to the submission from Parkinson Wright solicitors (submitted on behalf of the manic nimbies of Church Lench and paid for by everybody else, as usual), SPR's response to the DTA report on Landscape and Visual Amenity, SPR's response to the MAS Environmental "report" (i.e., total guff) on Noise and SPR's response to Captain Nookie of the good ship VVASP.

These make for excellent reading. The consultants charged with rebutting the reports commissioned by Wychavon District Council on the visual and noise aspects of the windfarm planning application take a sober and detailed approach. The one which refutes the rather wild and aimless claims made by MAS Environmental (Noise Experts By Appointment to Nimbyland) does a brilliant job of pointing out the flaws in the report. There is evidence aplenty to suggest that Wychavon only hired MAS Environmental after a sustained campaign of nonsense from our old friends of the nimby Politburo, and VVASP made a great big splash out of the illogical and unsupported comments offered by the "experts". You can bet that they won't make much of a noise about the fact that the claims made by those "experts" have been effectively rubbished by the consultants working for ScottishPower Renewables.

(One point which keeps cropping up is that SPR's noise consultants consistently took a "worst-case" approach, which MAS Environmental repeatedly criticised on bizarre grounds. How odd.)

The report on Landscape and Visual Amenity, commissioned by the District Council, is also slammed for wandering off its remit. Makes you wonder whether the nimby brigade also insisted on those consultants being retained (at public expense) by the council. Anyway, it matters little. These "experts" do like to have their two-penn'orth and pass comments on things that don't concern them.

More exciting still are SPR's responses to VVASP and the solicitor hired by VVASP's friends and neighbours in the Parish Council-funded Stop-the-Windfarm Working Party. Both responses robustly attack the misapprehensions and mistakes with which both Big Chief Nookie and the solicitor acting for Church Lench Nimby Inc. liberally scattered their woeful submissions.

The timing, however, is interesting. VVASP have little time to get their nasty propaganda machine working against these measured responses. Their own submissions have been dismissed as worthless, the consultants they tricked Wychavon into hiring have been found wanting, their full-page ad campaigns, it turns out, were based on pretty hopeless reports. Far be it from VVASP to publicise the full story (remember their mission statement: 'Providing Extremely Selective Information to Help the Community Make a Misinformed Decision'), so they won't make much of the fact that their arguments have collapsed like a failed souffle. Similarly, they made very little of the fact that the Church Lench Noise Measurement Group's noise survey revealed only that the planning application submitted by ScottishPower Renewables had been telling the truth.

But they will struggle to bombard all and sundry with dogmatic attacks on the science and planning laws with which SPR and its consultants have slammed the various reports sponsored, one way or another, by Dr No and his irresponsible cronies.

On 27 January, the Development Control Committee at Wychavon will meet to consider the Lenchwick Windfarm planning application. Thirty minutes will be allocated to each side of the "debate".

Two days before that, the councillors will be taken on a site visit to view the location of the proposed windfarm from a variety of angles. Expect much merriment. Vale Villages Amateur Society of Players (VVASP) will stage a re-enactment of George Romero's Day of the Dead, with the zombies played - very convincingly, we understand - by a smattering of brainwashed dupes. All those spare VVASP placards that are still lying around will magically appear in inappropriate places (because the VVASP membership genuinely believe that they own EVERYTHING - they'd paint the sky yellow, with a great big NO in the middle, if they could only figure out how to do it). With luck, not one single Wychavon councillor will be fooled by the latest display of nimby foolishness.

In a promising move, the Wychavon planning officer has invited our (real) friends at BLoW to submit a page to be included in his report to the planning committee. How good is that?

But, with all thise activity looming, will VVASP be able to spread their predictably dishonest garbage in response to the sensible responses from SPR in time? Or will they just concentrate on rehearsing their zombies?

We'll do our best to keep you posted.

Oh, and happy New Year, everyone!