Tuesday, 19 July 2011

How a windpower company plans to ruin Cornwall

 We’re just back from a week in North Cornwall, where, as usual, I spent a lot of time gazing admiringly at the views from various points around Bodmin Moor. My favourite vantage point is the top of Alex Tor, a smallish rock-topped hill, which is a damn sight easier to climb that its mighty near-neighbours, Rough Tor and Brown Willie (don’t ask).  On a clear day – not, to be honest, all that common during this rain and wind-swept visit – one can see all the way to the English China Clay quarries near St Austell, plus a huge swathe of the North Coast, as well as a sizable chunk of the  Moor itself, dotted, as always, with sheep and wild ponies.

In bad weather, the large skies are superbly dramatic. On a sun-filled day, the views, which stretch for miles, are ridiculously, idyllically bucolic.  The only visual irritants are four large wind turbines over towards Delabole, and three other wind-farms speckling the horizon in various directions.

If a company called Community Windpower Ltd gets its way, this scene, which covers between a third and a half of the county, will be destroyed forever. They’ve applied to build a farm consisting of twenty giant wind-turbines at Davidstow, on the moor. The tallest of the turbines will be over 400 ft high.

The proposal, almost universally opposed by local people, was rejected by Cornwall Council last year – but, in the mysterious way of these things, it’s back on the table, and could very well be approved later this year (I suspect that that arsehole, Lib-Dem Energy Minister Chris Huhne, will be doing his best to make it happen). 

I know nothing about the company behind this scheme, but I do know that if I were to hear that a huge lightning bolt had destroyed its headquarters in Frodsham, Cheshire, frying every single person who worked for the company and every person who earned money by advising it and every politician – national and local – who had ever given it a sympathetic hearing, I would find it very hard to suppress a huge, savage roar of pure joy.

Because – apart from the perennial proposal to pave Venice’s Grand Canal – I have never heard of a more disgustingly vandalistic, philistine scheme. The people who dreamt it up and who are so assiduously pushing it through – like the enormous, steaming turd of an idea it is – are, when it comes to natural beauty, terrorists, pure and simple: greedy, wicked, conscienceless terrorists.

I’m not against all forms of development: people have to live somewhere, so housing is needed, and areas as poor as Cornwall desperately require new businesses to provide employment. English China Clay, for instance, has, over the decades, ripped open large swathes of the local countryside, and remnants of the tin-mining industry litter the county to this day (they look charming now, but must have spoilt many a fine view in their time). The railway left scars. Electricity pylons must have been a real shock when they were put up (geddit?).

But all those enterprises had a purpose – travel, cheap energy, employment, commerce etc. Now, each passing month brings more and more proof that wind-energy is a subsidy-guzzling fantasy, promoted by eco-loons and second-rate politicians desperate to further their careers by climbing aboard the “Green” bandwagon and pseudo-energy companies eager to profit from a fashionable delusion.

Christ Almighty! – for all the science behind wind energy, you might as well subsidise a bunch of bollocks-spouting bandits to set up twenty 413-foot high Wicker Men: at least they wouldn’t kill birds or interfere with radar or drive locals mad with their incessant noise. Yes, they might spoil some of the most delightful views in England for a year or two – but they’d fall down sooner than the company directors could scarper with the loot: it practically takes a fucking nuclear attack to destroy a wind turbine.

If this scheme goes ahead, I hope every single person associated with it rots in hell for all eternity.

No comments:

Post a Comment