Residents meet to discuss plans for wind turbines near Lichfield

A wind turbine. Pic: Patrick Finnegan

A wind turbine. Pic: Patrick Finnegan

A packed meeting has seen plans residents vow to battle plans for four new wind turbines near Lichfield.

German company Prowind is hoping to build the turbines in the heart of the Mease Valley between Lichfield and Tamworth.

More than a hundred people took part in the lively debate on November 17 at Clifton Campville Village Hall over the proposals for a new wind farm near to Haunton which are expected to be submitted to Lichfield District Council in February next year.

The meeting – which was jointly arranged by Clifton Campville and Harlaston Parish Councils on behalf of Matthew Ellis, the area’s County Councillor – heard criticism over the lack of public awareness earlier this year of a previous application for a wind speed test mast in advance of the turbines proposals.

Cllr Ellis said he was pleased with the turnout and wider public awareness of the plans:

“I wrote to homes in Harlaston, Clifton Campville and Haunton because I think it’s crucial that local people are made aware of these major plans.

“Whilst I broadly support renewable energy, at 400 ft in height these four wind turbines would dominate the countryside for miles and miles. They would be visible from both Lichfield and Tamworth and would dwarf the magnificent spire and flying buttresses of the historic St Andrews Church at Clifton Campville.

“And during construction, with the longest loads being 150 ft in length and the heaviest weighing an immense 165 tonnes, I fear the damage to the local roads and countryside would be irreparable.”

A vote was taken during the meeting which unanimously supported opposing the plans when they are formally brought forward.

Prowind have confirmed that they are to showcase their proposals at the church hall in Haunton on December 3 from 2pm to 7pm.

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30 Comments

  1. Unconcerned Citizen

    20th November, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Nimby Alert ! !

    If we’re going to have windmills – they need to be built where the wind blows strongly enough.
    Taking idylic country views into account is rather silly during these times of rapidly approuching an energy crisis.

    For example – take the rather Bleak view the people of Rugeley or Drakelow have to face everyday, along with the polution constantly spewed out – they’ve put up with it for years.

    If we want electricity and continue our rather extravegant wasteful lifestyles – we have to move to green energy – the countryside tends to be well suited for windmills as there is no room left in the cities.
    Electricity is probably the future asset of the country farmer.

    But Kudos to Cllr Ellis for raising the issues with the locals. Lets see more encouragement of people to get involved with local politics.

  2. BrownhillsBob

    20th November, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    I hate to whizz on your bonfire old chum, but there hasn’t been a power station at Drakelow for a long time now… The cooling towers went a long time ago.

    But they are NIMBY’s – just give ’em the choice – powercuts or windmills. I’ll have one – I think they’re beautiful!

    Bob

  3. Class Crisis

    20th November, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    There’ s some debate about how useful inshore wind turbines are. How much of the weight behind the anti argument is motivated/funded by competing commercial interests – other renewable, nuclear etc. – I couldn’t tell you. I’m not an engineer. I do know getting it wrong will be ruinously expensive in every sense though.

    I also know that the NIMBY’s are going to have about as much influence as the residents of Diego Garcia. There’s far too much money at stake.

  4. Unconcerned Citizen

    21st November, 2009 at 10:02 am

    Its certainly windier in coastal regions – but we’ve ground flour alover the country by wind in the past.

    When transfering enery over distance you get a voltage drop – i expect this is the reason why windmills should also be built inland.

    Im quite sure if windmills were inneffective – electricity firms would not invest into them.

    Even if windmills are just supplementary to the national grid – if they are cost effective and pollution reducing – then it’s all good really.

    I’d hazaard a guess that wind power alone would certainly not be capable of generating the rather large and wastefull amounts of energy our crazy modern lifestyles consume.

    Until we look at the real problem (wastefull lifestyles, generating huge surplus wealth/profits and constant growth) we’ll never have enough energy. (unless somebody creates the perpetual energy machine – which is unlikely).

  5. Unconcerned Citizen

    21st November, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Personally – i agree with Bobs view of how they look – they are rather inspiring.

    However – Gordon Brown has signed up for lots of nuclear powerstations so perhaps these windmills are nothing other than sheer folly or to deal with voltage drops in remote regions sunch as Clifton Cambville.

  6. BrownhillsBob

    21st November, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Windfarms will provide clean power supplementary to other sources. As the technology improves, they will provide a valuable proportion of our electricity for little environmental impact.

    Such technology is not a sole solution, and other forms of generation need to be explored, like the high-tech combined cycle gas turbine to be built on the site of Drakelow.

    Nuclear, unfortunately, seems to be part of that solution. I’m not happy about that, but time will tell.

    Voltage drop isn’t a huge issue, but it pays to put plant as close as possible to the grid it feeds, just to reduce infrastructure costs.

    You’re quite right about profligate energy waste, but as with all things, we’ll improve over time.

    Best wishes

    Bob

  7. Class Crisis

    21st November, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    Energy is subject to massive public subsidy. The amount of money to be made from building a wind turbine has almost nothing to do with the amount of electricity generated. The same applies to nuclear, sort of.

    Nuclear will never be cost effective because of the cost of waste disposal and decommissioning, as long as governments pick up the tab for these though there is a profit to made from day to day power generation, a completely distorted market but then most are.

    Voltage is drop across the grid is barely an issue at all, the high voltage and low ampage of transmission sees to that.

  8. Unconcerned Citizen

    21st November, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    I just read into it – the voltage drop at the big volts (power station side) of electricity distibution is negligible. But apparently DC is better over distances such as UK to france or Ireland.
    Large scale windfarms are connected into this ‘big volts’ side of the national grid along with other less healthy forms of power generation.
    Anyhow – it seems small scale windfarms are generally not connected into this big volts side but more often to bolster the electricity supply of rural and isolated locations – (the telegrapgh pole stuff rather than the pylons)
    Although they can’t be that remote or i’d have probably never seen them…

    Unless these 4 turbines have a high power rating, i suspect they will just be bolstering the supply of thier locality.
    So it seems ignorance is at large in Clifton Campville.

  9. Class Crisis

    21st November, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Does Clifton Campville need it’s supply bolstering? I realise a person can show off their green credentials by supporting them but is there any significant benefit to small scale inland wind farms beyond the iconography?

    There is an argument for micro generation but I seriously doubt wind can be an effective part of that – many small scale top of a house systems have turned out to be less than useless and my own experience of their use for keeping battery banks topped up is that they are more expensive and provide less power than solar panels.

    The other big part of the energy/climate change debate is that individual choice has a significant part to play – I seriously doubt this as well and not just because of the inherent liberalism. The choices we can realistically make simply aren’t significant, the structural issues are far more important not least of which are supply side.

    As I said in my first comment the issue will not be decided by NIMBY’s or even science but by vested interest and money. Right now nuclear has the edge but given there are signs coming from government that peak oil is very much a reality this could change very quickly.

  10. BrownhillsBob

    21st November, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    Good grief, Class Crisis builds a fence, then flattens it by trying to sit thereupon.

    It isn’t some capitalist plot, you know, not everything is. The wind gen on the good ship Lenin may well be crap, but then, those tinpot ones tend to be. There are economies of scale. The grid is not in isolated chunks (hence the term ‘grid’) therefore electricity generated by the farm will be contributed to the general pool.

    Clean energy such as this is a useful part of the picture and has a big part to play – there doesn’t have to be some great conspiracy. What we’re seeing at the moment is the same NIMBYism as with mobile masts. It’s nothing to do with science, and everything to do with house prices and snobbery.

    Bob

  11. Unconcerned Citizen

    22nd November, 2009 at 5:24 am

    I just googled about it –
    Apparently the land is owned by a lib dem district councillor. Famer/Councillor Phillip Bennion….

  12. Class Crisis

    22nd November, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    On the pop last night Bob?

    What I’ve described regarding the nuclear vs renewable if anything is the opposite of a conspiracy – no all-powerful influence, just competing interests.

    Remember the promise of an energy review which when it materialised in 2005 wasn’t a review at all but a nuclear manifesto despite the governments own 2003 white paper describing nuclear as “an unattractive option”? Green Peace disrupted the conference Blair announced it at. Google it if you’re unsure.

    Do you not remember B&Q withdrawing their roof top turbines (the only retailer to mass market them so far) in Feb this year after it turned out they were crap and in some applications actually used more electricity to power up the regulator than they actually generated. £3k of absolute rubbish but hey .Bob thinks they’re purdy.

    There are similar doubts surrounding full size inland turbines – it’s an undisputed fact that they are less effective than offshore turbines. Why do you seem to like them so much Bob, aesthetics again?

    If inshore farms are taken up by government as part of the energy strategy then the NIMBY’s have no say at all. I’m sure everyone knows that the 2008 planning act means that a stroke of the secretary of states pen is all that’s required to approve infrastructure projects (such as energy facilities) the NIMBY’s are out in the cold. The take up or not of inland wind facilities depends on the outcome of the struggle of various industries and branches of those industries to get approval of government. No conspiracy Bob.

    As for the Lenin reference you’ll have to explain that, too much beer not enough sense I suspect.

  13. crippo

    22nd November, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    forgetting the usual pro’s and cons do people realise how noisy wind turbines are? would not like to live near them.

  14. BrownhillsBob

    23rd November, 2009 at 1:16 am

    Ah, Mr Crisis, I hadn’t touched a drop. I would suggest you read some of your own rambling output… you have been veering between two stools like a spartist posessed. It’s almost as if you can’t decide exactly where the great conspiracy lies in this issue – after all, in the world of Crass Crisis, there always has to be one, eh?

    You seem to base your expectations of wind turbines upon the useless camping/boat top-up generators sold to boaters like yourself. I assumed your vessel would be the good ship Lenin, and probably be a noisy, empty vessel not unlike yourself.

    I like wind turbines because they’re an elegant engineering solution, don’t pollute and can form a useful part of a coherent, practical energy policy. Technologies don’t mature fully until they’re in wide use; generator and inverter technology used in such turbines is coming on in leaps and bounds. Inland turbines’ small drop in efficacy compared to offshore locations is more than offset by reduced setup and infrastructure costs.

    NIMBY’s have seen off a few windfarm projects, and I’m sorry, they have had far too much power. Some things need doing and those affected should be accordingly compensated, and the projects go ahead whether they like it or not. The endless rounds of enquires and disinformation should be halted, it’s unproductive.

    Wind farms in my experience (and I’ve seen a fair few) don’t make much noise at all. Certainly not as much as whining locals banging on about cod science like low frequency vibration and electrosmog.

    I wish you well in your attempts to be patronising, you’re coming on quite well but the incision just isn’t there yet.

    Since my views haven’t changed in the slightest, I’ll be generous and let you have the last word…

    Best wishes for your revolution

    Bob

  15. Unconcerned Citizen

    23rd November, 2009 at 8:24 am

    I was reading about this the other day whilst brushing up on my electrical distribution knowledge.
    Sadly only about 6% of windfarms (inshore) get planning permission – but this is certain to change givene the U.Ks renewable energy production target. (15% of energy to come from renewable sources by 2020).

    Thats a lot more windmills – thousands off ’em…dont shoot until you see the whites of their eyes..

  16. Unconcerned Citizen

    23rd November, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Actually – its tens of thousands of them… i’m not sure country folk should be compensated unless it affects their income though.

  17. Class Crisis

    23rd November, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Ad hominem arguments are a product of a feeble mind at the best of times but when the person they are aimed at has none of the characteristics of which they are accused they are simply insults. To clarify Bob, I’m neither a Leninist, a Spartist or a boater. I suspect boater is the only one of those words you actually understand.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I have not pointed to any conspiracy here or anywhere else but then you know this, it’s just another disingenuous insult.

    You have not put forward an argument on this topic at all, simply made assertions that betray your ignorance of the issue being discussed.

    As I’m not a revolutionary and as I’m also sure you know this I’ll take your best wishes for my revolution in the spirit they were intended – Another disingenuous insult used as a substitute for an actual argument.

    On the subject of noise from turbines Bob I had to laugh at the use of “cod science” and “don’t make much noise at all” in the same sentence. Says it all really.

  18. Phil

    23rd November, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    Guys, I don’t like interfering in comments but keep it civilised (ie no personal attacks of any nature not matter how ‘polite’ you’re attempting to be about it). The comments are provided for you to talk about the issues at hand, not your opinions of each other and I intend to keep it that way.

  19. Unconcerned Citizen

    23rd November, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    Windmills and revolutions…. hehe….

  20. Class Crisis

    24th November, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    http://www.withouthotair.com
    That links to the online draft of a book by David MacKay Professor of natural philosophy at Cambridge. It’s an interesting easily accessible quantitative study of our sustainable energy needs. I’ve reservations about his figures on uranium availability but only because I’ve read contradictory figures before. I lack the background knowledge to say which are right. It’s always worth noting there are different views though.

  21. Pingback: Plans drawn up for 125 metre high Lichfield wind turbine

  22. Dave

    15th December, 2009 at 12:00 am

    anyone know what the lichfield district council planning application reference number is? i would like to suport renewable energy sources.

    http://www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/site/scripts/xforms_form.php?formID=11

  23. Claudia

    16th December, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    I live in curborough, right across from 7 trent water, and you wont be saying this wind turbine is beautiful when it affects all your tv reception will you. It has actually been said by the bbc. so you might wanna re think how beautiful this thing is gonna be, and maybe start protesting about getting rid of it! this is all thanks to GREEDY farmers and band waggon jumpers, who lack the brain to tell there fellow neigbours.

  24. BrownhillsBob

    16th December, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    The wind turbine will not affect TV reception. TV in Lichfield is served by either Sutton Coldfield – due south – or the Wrekin – due west. Due east is Common Barn, which broadcasts analogue Channel 5. There’s a small chance that a few to the north of the turbine may have to retune but the structure is such that it would be very, very unlikely.

    Anti turbine types would serve their cause far better by not spreading specious scaremongering.

    Best wishes

    Bob

  25. Class Crisis

    21st December, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    I was involved in the installation of a turbine array on the roof of an office block, the plan being that the turbines would be used to keep batteries topped up in a ups system. The office block roof also has communications equipment transmitting and receiving radio and microwave including mobile phone masts for three operators, police and ambulance radio.

    The possibility of the turbines interfereing with the communications was considered as they are essentially magnets moving in relation to a copper coil producing a electrical and magnetic field, tests were carried out before and after the installation and no interference of any kind was caused by the turbines.

    The turbines were nothing like the size of the one planned for Curborough but the distances involved were also tiny by comparison – less than 15 meters from the antennas..

  26. Pete

    11th October, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Wind Turbines are great, they look great and they are a feature of a landscape not an eye sore.

    Yes wind turbines are not the only answer, and all our energy needs cannot just rely on them BUT they should contribute.

    You say its not windy enough here but that’s at ground level. These wind turbines stand high (as people complain about) and capture the windspeeds at these heights.

    Wind turbines are also really cost efficient. Raising a wind turbine from 18 to 30m costs 10% more but can produce 29% more energy. What more do you want?

    I’m just disappointed that our local residents can’t see past their own situations and look at the globe as a community. Everyone needs to chip in if we are going to have a beautiful world left for our children.

    You say its a blot on the landscape but if the landscape no longer exists in 50 years then what have you saved? I feel gutted this was voted against when I thought the people of our area were more open minded than that and would lead the way for renewable energy.

  27. anne dritchley

    12th October, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Yes I agree with you Pete, so why does Micheal Fabricant oppose wind power & support the deadly Nuclear power? As our M.P. he should be consulting with & doing what is best for all of us. Rather than doing what he thinks popular with his yuppie , nimby friends, its’ amazing how unprincipled M.P.’s can be when they think they may loose votes!

  28. Wind Turbines

    8th December, 2010 at 3:49 am

    I strongly promote wind turbines. I know that at first you will need a great amount of money for this investment but as the time pass you will see that the wind turbines are worth investing.

  29. mikei6

    8th December, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    They are brill for hanging your washing on

  30. anne dritchley

    9th December, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Brrrrrrrrrr! its real cold these days, strong evidence that the polar ice is melting, Climate change is happening & those in government i.e. Michael Fabricant should get their act together fast to promote natural energy. Manufactured energy is always dangerous, so why are we not using our abundance of wind ,sun, water & wave power? As usual we ( our elected governments) only look to the short term as they are more concerned with their own re-election than with the inheritance we will leave.