Matt's Crow Country: Open mind needed for wind farm plans

PUBLISHED: 09:59 13 April 2010 | UPDATED: 12:02 19 May 2010

THE subject of wind farms always generates a lot of hot air. Sadly none of it can be utilised productively to power people s homes and businesses, because if it could then we probably wouldn t need the blooming farms in the first place. The next few years

THE subject of wind farms always generates a lot of hot air.

Sadly none of it can be utilised productively to power people's homes and businesses, because if it could then we probably wouldn't need the blooming farms in the first place.

The next few years could see several wind farms springing up in this region, including one which has been proposed for Heydon Grange near Royston.

Needless to say the proposals will not have blown away all local residents, many of whom will no doubt complain about the prospect of having the large windmills springing up near their homes.

South Cambridgeshire MP Andrew Lansley said last week: "The local community must be active participants in deciding whether a wind farm proposal is acceptable, taking account of benefits to local people, through discounted electricity in the vicinity and keeping business rates.

"On-shore wind farms are not appropriate in all places. Some locations are more efficient for wind generated energy; and some locations would have an unacceptable impact on the local environment."

I wouldn't argue with any of that apart from the environmental impact angle, which I consider to be a bit of a fallacy.

You wouldn't want the whole landscape covered with big white turbines, but generally I find wind farms to be aesthetically pleasing, and have never really understood why people would think otherwise.

And they provide a source of energy which does not have a big detrimental effect on the environment, unlike a lot of other sources. What's not to like?

Obviously there are a lot of factors to consider before it is established whether or not Heydon Grange is a suitable place to put one of these installations, but if a planning application is submitted I hope local residents will approach it with an open mind.

I HAVE just returned from a very pleasant week's holiday in Paris.

What wasn't quite so pleasant was my journey back from King's Cross to Royston, which involved two different trains and a bus and took nearly two hours.

Good old engineering works were to blame, and while I realise repairs have to be carried out at some time, why is it always at the weekend? Why can't they be done overnight, as they are en France, so as to disrupt as few people as possible.

Commuters are obviously a priority for train operators such as First Capital Connect, but those of us who use off-peak trains pay for our tickets too and I don't see why we should have to suffer such massive inconvenience.

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