Sunday, 25 March 2012


The "Stop Dorcas Lane Turbines" website is a good example of ... well, of a nimby website.

It's not difficult to figure out what happened, because the pattern is more-or-less the same wherever it happens. A clean energy company, having carried out the various preliminary wind-mapping and pre-scoping stages, announced that it was considering the Dorcas Lane site as a potential windfarm development. Between them, the developers and their consultants probably accounted for several decades of experience in wind energy matters.

Within days of the announcement, a small but wealthy group of local sociopaths decided that they were the real wind power experts, even though it's highly unlikely that any of them had even seen a windfarm before. To prove that they had become overnight experts in the science and technology of wind energy, they put out anti-windfarm propaganda which they had simply culled from numerous identikit anti-windfarm sites. In other words, the nimbies did absolutely no research whatsoever, but still posed as "experts" on the subject of windfarms.

The gibberish they had raided from the other nimby websites was basically the standard pile of nonsensical garbage promoted by anti-wind fanatics and the hoodlums who instantly and unthinkingly object to something, regardless of its merits. The oafish claims made by the fools of "Stop Dorcas Lane Turbines" have all been discredited, over and over again. Abundant evidence has been released which disproves every single one of those tiresomely repetitive claims (including such hoary old chestnuts as the government guidelines on windfarms and noise, ETSU-R-97, being "out of date" and "unfit for purpose" because wind turbines are larger today than they were back in 1997 - they're also, by the way, very much quieter, indicating that if only the nimbies had brains capable of processing information they'd realise that ETSU-R-97 actually works rather well!).

But, because they did NO RESEARCH WHATSOEVER and only ponced the idiotic and wildly inaccurate claims made by previous nimby groups, the Stop Dorcas Lane Turbines psychos didn't bother to find out the facts. Why should they? They were arrogant and conceited enough to pose as "experts" in something they knew nothing about and selfish and evil enough to spread cretinous scare stories about wind to alarm and frighten their neighbours.

Those who actually did some research into windfarms - real research, that is - discovered that they're really rather great. And so they had to be bullied and victimised. Because once a handful of pompous bores have decided that they know all there is to know about windfarms (having trawled obsessively and exclusively through misleading nimby websites), no one is allowed to question their judgement or voice an alternative opinion.

Typical, then, to find that the morons of Stop Dorcas Lane Turbines have run that fraudulent old myth about windfarms and house prices up the flagpole. Yep: they had the bad taste and breathtaking ignorance (or maybe just massive dishonesty) to claim that a study carried out by researchers based at Oxford Brookes University in 2006, and part-funded by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, found that house prices can fall by as much as "54%" in proximity to a windfarm.

Okay, so let's give the nimby nutters of Aylesbury Vale the benefit of the doubt and assume that they only made this claim because they didn't know any better (because they didn't actually do any research at all). The only alternative is that they knowing lied to their neighbours over something that was guaranteed to cause confusion and concern.

But let's assume that, because the Dorcas Lane nimbies didn't actually look into the issues, merely regurgitating the lies told by other nimby groups, they had no idea that no direct correlation has been found between windfarms and house prices. None. At all.

Fortunately, we have researched this subject in some depth. We have to, because the nimbies refuse to. They just repeat old, outdated, outworn lies. So we looked into it.

Luckily, so did Christopher Barclay, who drafted a briefing paper for the House of Commons Library (updated 11 February 2011) entitled "Do wind farms actually reduce house prices?" Christopher Barclay was forced to conclude that it would be difficult to agree compensation packages for residents living near windfarms because there is no actual evidence that windfarms have a negative impact on property prices.

Other studies have reached similar conclusions - apart from a couple of exceptions. These include the largest study yet carried out and point to something that even the nimbies, in the ghastly darkness of their black, black hearts, should find interesting:

Property values in relatively close proximity to windfarms tend to go up faster than in the case of comparable properties which are not so close to windfarms.

Yes. Fact. Windfarms are actually rather good news for the property-minded homeowners who would no doubt be delighted to know that a few turbines a fair distance away have increased the market value of their houses.

Overall, there is some evidence of a small dip in property values during the planning stage of a windfarm. But, of course, with no windfarm yet in the immediate vicinity, we have to question how a non-existent windfarm can have a minor impact on house prices. The answer, of course, is that the windfarm doesn't. Because it doesn't exist yet. What causes the slight fall in property prices is the nimbies themselves, who kick up such a fuss over nothing that they make their village an extremely undesirable place for a reasonable human being to want to live.

Then, when the windfarm becomes operational, the local house prices quickly catch up with what they were before the treacherous nimby idiots started their stupid campaign, and in many cases the house prices show a healthy increase over and above their normal rate. Because when people know what a windfarm is really like, they want to live near one. That's how it works.

The research we carried out into the matter of windfarms and property values (unlike the witless nimbies, who did no research at all) we freely shared with Yes 2 Wind. It now forms part of the "Expert" answer to the question of windfarms and house prices in the Windypedia section of their website. You can read up on our research by clicking here:

and selecting the "Expert" option.

You see, it takes work to become a real expert in wind energy and its associated issues. The self-serving idiots of Stop Dorcas Lane and all their clone-like nimby counterparts simply cannot be bothered to do that work. They reckon that just by looking up half-a-dozen nimby websites they can become instant experts entitled to fool, delude and mislead their communities and, indeed, their local councillors.

But they're actually being exceptionally stupid. Because what they say about windfarms is absolutely untrue. They're lying, and they either know that they're lying (in which case, they're liars) or they believe the nonsense they're talking (in which case, they're ignorant and very, very stupid). Either way, the last thing these people are is "expert" on the subject of windfarms.

Experts at spreading sickening lies, abusing their neighbours, bullying the smart people, telling more lies and generally being disgustingly aggressive and grossly irresponsible - yes. But experts on windfarms?

Don't make us laugh.


  1. Hi

    I live in the area and am still making my mind up about this.

    I don't know enough about shadow flicker or noise, so am prepared to trust the developer on this - they say they are able to mitigate the effects. Cool.

    It's a pretty subjective point but I don't personally like the look of wind turbines, especially 125m ones being so close to my home, but I also accept that I don't own the view, so as much as I would be disappointed by it I'll take that one on the chin.

    I won't directly benefit from the electricity generated, but I understand it's part of a much bigger picture. Fair enough.

    What does worry me is the fact that the developer haven't really bothered to engage the community at all and have, on numerous occasions, seemingly cut corners or made errors on their submissions. I need to trust the company making such a substantial development and I'm finding that difficult at the moment.

    Beyond one poorly organised meeting last summer and an appearance at one of the Parish Councils, they have apparently made no effort to engage the community whatsoever. They have refused invitations to address gatherings of local residents. They have supplied erroneous information - I have received three separate DVDs from them (they had to revise the models following complaints, as the others were misleading, showing the height of the turbines to be smaller than would be the case) and they copied and pasted large parts of their original planning application from a wind farm in Scotland - not bothering to change the nearby roads and towns. Surely you have to understand that it's difficult to feel confident about an organisation that behaves in that manner?

    The derisory offer of financial compensation to the community is pretty pathetic in comparison to the enormous lifetime value of the turbines. I would like to see a serious commitment to the area in which they will have such an impact.

    Also of concern is their apparent habit of cutting corners, as highlighted by the council's own Green Spaces team regarding the wildlife survey of bats in the area, which they regarded as deficient. The attempt to submit the application prior to Christmas appeared to be aimed at reducing the time for local residents to respond, particularly given that it was far too early to assess any meteorlogical data gleaned from the Met Mast. There seems to be indecent haste to get this project moving when a more considered view incorporating forthcoming legislation and giving the council opportunity to form a policy on wind farms would be far more constructive.

    Also, I think you're wrong about the SDLT group. I can't argue with you on the scientific facts as I don't know enough about it, but the anti group haven't engaged in 'disgusting bullying' at all. Do you have any evidence for that? I'd be surprised if that was the case. It's surely down to the developer to make the 'pro' case, but they just haven't been visible. If they'd put as much effort into talking to the community as the SDLT group then I might have a different opinion, they just don't seem to give a shit about the area or the people in it. It's down to them to correct that view.

    Not all of us have 'black black hearts' or are 'psychos', it's just that currently the energy company aren't looking like a particularly safe bet and I don't trust them with the area that I love. They simply haven't made a persuasive argument.

    It's not as cut and dry as you make out - not necessarily a question of evil nimbies vs saintly developers. The argument is becoming shrill on both sides, but reasoned dialogue is what's needed not inflammatory rhetoric.

  2. Thank you very much for your comment, Adam. You make some very valid points: wind energy developers have a huge number of hoops to jump through in the pre-planning stages, and often neglect to engage with the community to the extent that might be desirable. On the other side of the coin, once a group like SDLT has started doing its thing, public meetings and/or exhibitions organised by the developers tend to become occasions where the anti's gather to cause trouble. Certainly, it would be better all round if developers were to spend more time working with the community - preferably, before elements within the community start creating their own, wildly misleading and inaccurate claims about the windfarm.

    Having been reporting on wind energy matters and, in particular, the tactics used by nimby groups to oppose any development for several years, we frequently get to hear from individuals who have been bullied for expressing an opinion which doesn't square with the "party line" imposed by the nimby group - which is indeed the case with Dorcas Lane. Often, local people feel intimidated by their own neighbours in cases like this, where a group has established an extremist position and expects everyone else to sign up to their "NO" stance. People get in touch because they want to know what the real facts are - they're being blitzed with dodgy facts and false claims from their local protest group - and, increasingly, bear witness to the fact that one is not allowed a voice unless one agrees with the anti's.

    As we frequently point out, the position of the anti's is based on false information, much of it very outdated and completely discredited, which they have simply taken from other anti-windfarm protests around the country. Because their arguments are so threadbare, they seem to feel the need to enforce consensus. Which is wrong.

    As you suggest, greater engagement with the community by the developers would be part of the answer - although this often becomes counterproductive when the nimby group has imposed a blanket ban on any information which they haven't sourced themselves. Equally, the community needs to stand up to the more aggressive and devious elements locally in order to prevent the issue becoming a divisive and embittered "us" and "them" situation. Sadly, we've found on many occasions, once a group like SDLT gets started, promoting false information and campaigning on the grounds of intolerance and prejudice, any hope of a reasonable debate is lost.