Dear Mr Veck
Thank you for your comments on the decision report entitled, ‘Policy on large wind turbines and wind farms on County Council Land’. The decision on whether to adopt a policy to restrict the use Hampshire County Council’s own land for large wind turbine developments will be made by the Leader of the County Council as Executive Member for Policy and Resources.
The policy is being considered to provide clear guidance for scheme promoters, and in recognition of the often conflicting objectives between the benefits of wind power in providing clean renewable energy, when the wind blows, and the adverse visual and amenity impact on Hampshire’s outstanding and high quality landscapes and countryside, which are an important economic asset in themselves, and a key aspect of the character of Hampshire
This paper only addresses large wind turbines and wind farms on the County Council’s own land and is not looking to restrict small scale or domestic installations. The County Council has no jurisdiction on the latter and it would therefore not be appropriate for it to comment.
We are completely signed up to the benefits of low carbon energy, but believe that at present large scale wind turbines on our land do not provide a sufficient benefit to justify the loss of some of Hampshire’s most prized undeveloped countryside. We recognise however that wind turbine technology will develop, and the financial regimes that apply may also change, therefore we will keep the position under close scrutiny.
I would also like to take this opportunity to reassure you that the County Council takes the energy and climate change agenda very seriously. The County Council recently approved an Energy Strategy and we agreed to explore a range of options to ensure that Hampshire has future access to sustainable and secure energy sources. On shore wind power is not the only source of low carbon energy.
I can assure you that the County Council will continue to assess future opportunities under this changing agenda.
Councillor Melville Kendal