Let’s rely on reliable coal not unreliable wind

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From: R Firth, Campsall, Doncaster.

I WAS dismayed (Yorkshire Post, December 10) to read that Philip Major, the Planning Inspector, has over-ruled the wishes of Leeds councillors and local campaigners and given the go-ahead for five massive wind turbines alongside the A1/M1 at Hook Moor.

This comes as no surprise as the frightening pattern seems to be that local planning authorities and councillors, whether or not they are for or against wind farms, can vote for rejection knowing that Philip Major, or one of his colleagues, will come along and inflict these unwanted, inefficient eyesores on the local populace, as per Government instructions.

So much for the Government pledge that gives more powers over local planning to local people.

The protestors are in a no-win ludicrous situation as to appeal the decision would cost and risk a small fortune, monies that they do not have, whilst they are up against developers, up to their arm-pits in cash through subsidies received indirectly from taxpayers.

Even the Inspector admits that the Hook Moor five will be “slight to moderately harmful on the landscape, depending on the particular position of the viewer”.

Do we want anything that is even moderately harmful on our landscapes when the wind farms cannot be relied upon to provide more than a nominal amount of electricity and virtually none at all in winter when winds fail to blow, or blow too hard for the turbines to operate?

Wind fails to blow at the “average speed” the developers claim is readily in existence. We will always need the traditional power stations to enable us to heat and light our homes and to power our industries. All the major power stations in our area, Drax, Eggborough and Ferrybridge are moving away somewhat from burning fossil fuels with Government backing and, with the proposed clean coal plant at Hatfield to come on stream, we will have a secure, cleaner, reliable source of energy without further despoiling our countryside.