A survey carried out by Lincolnshire County Council indicates that more than two thirds of people taking part believe wind farms have no role in meeting the future energy needs of the county.
The survey was taken by some 4,000 people in the county, most from East and West Lindsey, North and South Kesteven, and a minority (5%) from Lincoln. It found 63% of people felt wind farms had no role to play in meeting the county’s energy needs.
The survey is part of a County Council consultation on its position on wind farms, which calls to put a stop on their expansion in Lincolnshire.
The council wants to turn into policy that wind farms should not be located within the Lincolnshire Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, or 2km of its boundary, coastal conservation areas, or too close to towns and villages.
The proposals seek to keep wind farms 700 metres away from a property (2km if there are noise issues) or an unacceptable distance to residential properties, based on the size of the turbine blades.
The council also fears wind farms could have an impact on the local economy, as it could put tourists off visiting.
According to the survey results, 87% of people said the County Council’s guidelines should be taken into account when new wind farms are considered.
Councillor Martin Hill, Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Clearly our residents feel something has to be done about the unrestrained spread of wind turbines across the county.
“We understand the need for renewable energy. However, we can’t ignore the impact wind farms are having on our beautiful and historic countryside for what appears to be very limited gain.
“We need to make sure we balance our need for green energy against inappropriate developments that ruin the very environment we’re trying to protect. We’re confident our guidelines will bring that balance.”
A report will now be presented to the council’s executive members asking them to endorse a move to make the council’s current position official policy. If they agree, this will go before the full council on February 22 for approval.
James Pocklington from the Lincolnshire Pro Wind Alliance, who started petition against the move, said: “In our view it is essential that a proven, efficient, low carbon technology such as wind should be dealt with impartially by our planning authorities.
“The world is changing and we must accept that “business as usual” is a rapidly vanishing option. The government’s renewed commitment to the potentially damaging search for shale gas admirably indicates the level of desperation regarding the future of UK energy supply.”