Wind farms have been ‘peppered’ across Britain without enough consideration for the countryside and people’s homes, a senior Conservative energy minister admitted as he warned ‘enough is enough’.
John Hayes said that we can ‘no longer have wind turbines imposed on communities’ – giving fresh hope to campaigners fighting against plans which could see pylons carrying power lines through Shropshire and Mid Wales.
Mr Hayes, who was appointed to the brief in last month’s Cabinet reshuffle, is believed to support a moratorium on new onshore wind farms.
His views are believed to clash with that of Liberal Democrat energy secretary Ed Davey, who was reportedly so concerned about his new deputy’s views on the issue that he acted to limit his responsibilities.
But Mr Hayes’ comments were welcomed today by Montgomeryshire Against Pylons (MAP), which is campaigning against plans by National Grid to build a substation in Cefn Coch, near Llanfair Caereinion, and use either pylons or underground cables to link the electricity to the national supply in Shropshire.
It wants to build a 30-mile long, high voltage power line from Cefn Coch to Lower Frankton, near Oswestry, to take energy from Mid Wales wind farms to the national electricity network.
A spokesman for MAP said on the group’s official Twitter account today that Mr Hayes’ comments were ‘great news’.
Mr Hayes said: “We can no longer have wind turbines imposed on communities. I can’t single-handedly build a new Jerusalem but I can protect our green and pleasant land.”
The minister said new research on wind turbines would make a far wider assessment of their impact on the rural landscape and property prices.
His comments follow those made by Environment Secretary Owen Paterson last week, who said it was ‘idiotic’ to put up wind turbines in areas of low wind.
By Chris Burn