Dear Sir,
In response to the Great Aycliffe Residents Asso-ciation letter about the proposed Isles wind farm. The first point they make is “County Durham has done more than its fair share of provision for wind farms, in the UK”. I would like to ask. Is there a limit on doing good work? Is there a problem with doing more than your fair share?
Their second point is that “wind farms are a massive and unwelcome intrusion into the countryside of County Durham, a landscape protected under the Sedgefield Borough Council local plan”. If the SBC was doing its job, this area would be forest. Agriculture already radically changed this landscape. Wind energy is just another crop like wheat or beef.
The next point they make is “This development cannot be justified”. Well, how about the possible sinking of Bangladesh. Not to mention the recent flooding of Somerset and the coastal erosion of East Yorkshire.
The GARA’s next point is “There is no objection to renewable energy in itself, but only to this proposed industrialisation of our local landscape.” I would like to ask, what is agriculture other than industrial scale food production?
They then go on to say “The Government recently acknowledged the massive profits made by Utilities like Eon from subsidies paid for out of everyone’s Gas and electricity bills including the lowest paid, cannot be justified”.
What is wrong with profit? Profit is essential in order to improve infra-structure etc. We all benefit from profit in the form of wages, benefits etc.
Since the second world war, farming has been heavily subsidised, resulting in profit for farmers and cheap food for the rest of us.  All we need to do is tighten up on large company’s tax avoidance.
Their next point is “The fact that over 90% of Wind capacity (not wind power actually generated) also has to be backed up by Gas fired power stations on spinning reserve means that the amount of CO2 emissions saved by wind farms is negligible”.
This is misleading because spinning reserve is not producing nothing while spinning, it’s just on part load and thus on reduced fuel consumption, also there are at least three kinds of gas fired power stations, steam turbine, gas turbine and piston engine, the steam turbines take a long time to stop and start but the gas turbines and piston engines will do so in minutes. I recently visited a hydro power station which could be turned on or off as required. Large scale renewable energy is relatively new, and our infra-structure is not designed to accommodate it but it will adapt in time.
GARA say “No to the despoiling of one of the loveliest corners of rural England with, noisy, ugly, taxpayer-subsidised, bat-chomping, bird-slicing, wind farm turbines.”
I, as a vegan can’t argue against “bat-chomping, bird-slicing” but agriculture also kills wildlife and as far as “loveliest” is concerned, that’s a matter of opinion, like I said before “It used to be forest”. And agriculture is also tax payer subsidised. As for noise, get double glazing, it will also reduce your need for wind farms.
I might just join GARA, if they’ll have me, and maybe their votes won’t be so unanimous in future.
John Parlour.
Editor: It has been pointed out to this correspondent that he does not have to join GARA. As a resident he had the right to attend  the Public AGM and vote. It was advertised in Newton News as are all Public Meetings of GARA.