More red flags needed in Wiltshire

Posted in: Comment, New Publications, News and Updates

I'm told it will soon be Wiltshire Council policy that all pedestrians in the county are to be kept at least 50 metres away from cars travelling at 50 kph, and farther away from those travelling at higher speeds.  There is even some wild talk about having men with red flags walking ahead of the cars ... .  This is all to be done to protect the public, notwithstanding the obvious effects it will have on the local economy.

This is similar to the Council policy reported in the Wiltshire Times and the Guardian to impose restrictions on wind turbines such that turbines more than 25m high could not be built within 1km of any residential property.  There will also be minimum distances of 1.5km for turbines greater than 50m, 2km for those more than 100m and 3km for 150m turbines.

This is being done on public safety grounds.  Coun. Toby Sturgis, cabinet member for the environment, said:

“I was very disappointed that anyone voted against it. I was quite amazed that people want to compromise on safety. We need these guidelines to go forward.”

I did ask my local councillor (who proposed this measure) to point me to the research which informs this policy; answer came there none.  The Wiltshire Times notes that the policy has been based on the Wind Turbines (Minimum Distance from Residential Premises) Bill, which had its first reading in the House of Lords in May (a bill that's going nowhere fast, of course).  Seemingly, it will not affect smaller turbines which are often fitted to houses and businesses, but will likely mean that very few turbines will now be built – a very happy outcome for some, it seems.

Actually, it all looks something of a Tory scam to embarrass the LibDems.  A conservative group press release put it in typical subtle terms:

"... In a fiercely fought debate on the issue many Liberal Democrat Councillors showed their support for onshore wind energy.  Conservative Councillor Jonathon Seed commented “We have spent months working on sensible planning guidance which places reasonable constraints on attempts to cover our priceless Wiltshire countryside with wind farms.  It is a real pity that the Liberal Democrat opposition could not tear themselves away from their green dogma and instead they all voted in favour of unfettered development of wind farms in Wiltshire.”

Just so!  As for the road proposals, well, I confess to a piece of satire, though if you look at Blue & Green Tomorrow's coverage, you'll find the stats that suggest that it would save many more lives.

As ever, the comments under the story in the on-line Wiltshire Times illustrates the urgent need for good environmental education.  I do recommend them, albeit with a heavy heart ...

Posted in: Comment, New Publications, News and Updates


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  • Well said, This last minute change to the Core Strategy was a joke. The trouble is it will inhibit or delay any community energy schemes- and how on earth are they going to meet their green energy targets?