Published: 22 Jan 12

A NEW cross-party campaign group is to be set up in Westminster to demand the Government drops its support for thousands more wind farms.

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne wants a major expansion of onshore wind farm development to help Britain meet green targets.

Backbench MPs from all parties will brand heavily subsidised onshore wind farms inefficient, expensive and a major blight on the landscape.

They will urge Ministers to re-think a policy which will add £280 to the annual energy bill of hard-pressed homeowners by 2020.

Tory Chris Heaton-Harris, Daventry MP, is the driving force behind the new parliamentary pressure group.

He said: “Ministers need to look at this policy again. It is an inefficient technology, it adds to the bills of consumers, it harms the balance of the National Grid, it is the wrong renew­able for the UK. We need a change of policy.” Britain is the only country in the world to have signed up to cut CO2 emissions by 2050. The pledge, enshrined in the Climate Change Act, requires a major expansion of wind farm development bankrolled by taxpayer subsidies.

I can see it now – when faced with a vista of 44 turbines around Mossel Bay, the tourist whips out a camera and takes photos of the completely stuffed-up view, since it represents green energy. Hello? Hello? Part Two next week: The CSIR blunders on.

Official figures from the Department for Energy and Climate Change suggest up to 32,000 more wind turbines could be erected in the next 20 years, of which 6,000 would be onshore sites.

At present, there are about 3,000 onshore wind turbines with a few hundred off shore. They generate less than two per cent of the nation’s power and are frequently brought to a standstill by too cold or too windy conditions.

MPs have grown alarmed by a trend for onshore wind farm applications to be approved on appeal because of Mr Huhne’s target, even when inspectors concede they will be a blight.

Last month a planning inspector approved a turbine farm overlooking the Battle of Naseby site in Northamptonshire, even after he admitted it would “harm” the historic setting. The proposal from German firm E.ON for six 415ft turbines was rejected by Daventry District Council but national planning inspector Paul Griffiths overturned the ruling.

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