The Spectator

Letters | 22 October 2011

• Gone with the wind
Sir: Your recent campaign against wind farms is brought, perhaps, to a conclusion by Matt Ridley’s splendid article on shale gas (‘Shale of the century’, 15 October). Yet at no time have you referred to that other blot on the domestic landscape, the solar panel. I wonder why. As with the wind farm, they are weather dependent, their installation is beyond the means of the majority, they are judged to be an eyesore, and they are subsidised by the taxpayer. That’s four similarities. But what can seriously be done about either?
John Weaver

Sir: Can anything be done to force the government to reassess the policy on wind farms? I was impressed by the success of Hugh’s Fish Fight in forcing a review of the wasteful discards of cod in the North Sea. If a similar initiative could be launched to make the government look again at their current policy on wind farms, it would surely be worthwhile. Would The Spectator support such an initiative? I do not know anyone who believes what we are doing makes sense. The current policy, if adhered to, will be result in national economic suicide, to no useful purpose.
Edward Brett

Sir: We sympathise with CLA (Country Land & Business Association) member William Cash who is threatened by a proposed wind farm, but his article (‘Selling our birthright’, 15 October) might further polarise a planning debate which has no need to be polarised at all.  
The CLA is neutral on wind farms, mainly because we have no special expertise on their costs and benefits. However, we do have expertise on heritage because, collectively, our members manage at least a quarter of it. While we are just as opposed to ‘concreting over the countryside’ as the National Trust or CPRE, we do not see all rural development as evil.

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