Wednesday, 5 October 2005


Sharing the burden, sharing the blessing

Suffolk's first wind farm received planning permission today. I've been following this story closely. Personally I think it's great news, although I understand others feel it's cause for concern.

(I've often wondered whether the signs objectors erect in front of their houses are a self-fufilling prophesy. They complain that they are unable to sell their houses now - little wonder when it's hard to see the building for all the "Offshore not Onshore" placards.)

Last month I found out about a clever way of routing round such objections: invite local people to invest in the farm themselves. Suddenly would-be protesters begin to see what a farm might bring to their community (and in some cases their pockets).

Bro Dyfi Community Renewables is one successful project that's been running for a couple of years in mid-Wales. Further south Awel Aman Tawe have just had their planning application rejected - proof that community support doesn't guarantee the outcome.

It's now two years since the Parham proposal was first announced. It'll be some while yet before the blades begin to turn. Any proposed wind farm will kick off a similar debate. It'd be interesting to see how differently the discussions play out if the community were involved from the start.

Posted by pab at 20:07 | Comments will be back later in the year. Please email me instead!