Wind farms need careful thought in places like Belstead and Pinewood

I’M a huge fan of the principle of using wind energy – and I’d like to see more wind farms go up around the country.

To my eye wind turbines are a great addition to the landscape, and many of the arguments against them are based on totally inaccurate urban myths.

There has never been any case of a bird being decapitated (or even injured) by a wind turbine – if there was would the RSPB be happy to install them at places like Minsmere?

I accept beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I like them. I suspect that when Salisbury Cathedral was going up in the middle ages there was a Wulfric muttering to an Edric that it was out of place in their town!

However, there is one major issue with wind farms and wind turbines – and that is the effect they have on people living near them.

There have been reports of noise, vibration and “flicker” caused to residents living near turbines. Experts are not all agreed on the distance that needs to be left, but it does seem that having turbines within two kilometres of homes can potentially cause problems.

For that reason it is easy to understand the concerns felt by residents of Belstead and Pinewood at the proposal to put up two large turbines at Thorington Hall.

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I’ve heard some say that wind farms should only be built at sea – that’s not a reasonable argument because offshore windfarms are much more expensive than those on land.

What is needed is a mixture of onshore and offshore windfarms.

And there are sites across the country where wind farms would be acceptable – rural areas, sites like former air bases in Suffolk.

It would be difficult to argue that a wind turbine could cause as much disruption to residents as the US warplanes that used to fill our skies!

But putting them so close to a large number of homes is probably not a great idea – and is likely to turn some people who might otherwise be in favour or at least non-committal about wind farms against them.

It would be a great shame if an ill-thought application created a new opposition army prepared to battle against a valuable source of renewable energy.