Far too many wind farms are being turned down by local planning authorities and this must change.                

        The vast majority of the public are fully in support of wind farms, yet it is the small but vociferous minority who make their voices heard and the planning authorities can be taken in by the often misleading claims and factually incorrect arguments used by those in opposition.

       To win approval for a wind farm. the consenting authority must be made aware of the overwhelming support for wind power. The public should be given the opportunity to support projects.              

       Before you decided to support a wind farm, it is important to look at the application in detail, that is..

        Read the Environmental Statement ( ES) and or The Non Technical Summery ( NTS) These are usually available from the developer in a hard copy format or CD Rom. In these you can look at the project description ( location, number of turbines, turbine / nacelle height, and environmental assessments on, landscape and visual effects, Ecology. Ornithology, Hydrology, Cultural Heritage, Noise, Traffic and Socio Economics.

       Site selection for a wind farm is based on the the wind resource, grid connection and potential impacts on the landscape etc..

       Here are a few ideas on how to support an application... 

       Form a local campaign group... This is the best and most effective way to ensure success ! 

     It is also a good idea to contact the developer at this stage and offer your support.

     A group name should be found and a logo designed, roles given to people - the main one being group contact.

     It is a good idea to advise the media about the group by way of a press release, informing them of when and where the group meets, along with contact details. A photo opportunity can be given, it is a good idea to see if the media source has a dedicated environmental correspondent.

    The group can perform a number of key roles, the main one being that of "public   engagement, collecting letters of support on the high street and highlighting the project to members of the public. Ideally the letters should be individual, however, most do not have the time to do this, so a pre-written of form letter will suffice, additional comments can be added by the person completing the letter. Individual letters and the form letter should be addressed to the Chief Planning Officer.

 

    For street campaigning the idea is to give the opportunity to members of the public and provide them with substantiated and factually correct information, so that based on this they can make an informed decision. It is important to offer as much information as possible, this includes a photo montage ( how the wind farm would look if built, map of the area and copies of the ES and NTS)

 

    Create a website - this is really easy and and is often free ( Google search " free Website)  it is a great way to publicise the group and wind farm, this should include information about the project, a link to the developers Website, forthcoming events, news and updates etc and links to related websites, ones to include could be BWEA, GREENPEACE YES2WIND, FRIENDS OF THE EARTH etc.

       

     You can also

     *  Design a flyer and poster

     *  Organise a public meeting  ( optional)

       *  Lobby by letter or in person the following -

     * Local MP

     * Local councillors - on the Planning Authority

     * Head of planning

     * Local media - papers and radio

 

       Merchandise sales can help fund the group ( t-shirts, car stickers, badgers etc) and are also excellent ways to spread the message !

              The YES2WIND site www.yes2wind.com and www.embracemyplant.com provide a good deal of useful information about wind power and how to best support a local application. There are also a number of pro wind / climate / environmental groups across the UK which will be more than happy to help ! The yes2wind site is also shows the location and planning status of many wind farm applications. Other sites to visit can be seen on the Links page on the Alliance4Wind site. FOE Cymru have an excellent document "Wind Power :20 Myths Blown Away", a copy of this can be seen at www.foecymru.co.uk  

         It would be also useful to find out about the planning process works and determine the date for the planning meeting.

 

         Local Councillors often take notice of the number of letters submitted, both for and against and the application, it is essential that they receive a large number of letters in support.  

 

        If possible, it is a great idea to visit a working wind farm and see how amazing they are it is also really inspiring !

       

                 Good luck !

 

                              

                                Supporting a wind farm application

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