Courage from Glyndebourne

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IT’S encouraging, this week, to read some positive letters regarding the turbine, but how sad to read the rather personal nature of the letter, from a jazz lover, in the previous edition (Wrong energy, wrong place, October 23). It was members of the Royal Phil, the Glyndebourne orchestra in the ‘50s, who introduced me to jazz, a life-long enjoyment.

Surely it is Glyndebourne Productions, not Gus Christie personally, who will gain from the feed-in tariff received by all who install renewable energy.

It was curious that the final paragraph in that letter cast doubt on its productivity, seeming to counter the claim of such huge financial gain.

I doubt for a second that Glyndebourne remunerations touch those of big business and bankers (or has offshore addresses for tax purposes) and, since production standards are renowned globally, I hope they do gain from having the courage to recognise the need to become self-sufficient, planning for a sustainable future.

In the very personal attacks there is no recognition of Glyndebourne’s economic benefits to the District. It must be one of the largest local employers and is much more than an opera house. With its education programme, touring opera, long rehearsal times so many rent properties/rooms, purchase in local shops, charity performances, etc. the Christie family has done much to promote community links.

To gain a fair impression, I’ve walked to Firle Beacon, from which its impact is far less intrusive than the masts on that stretch of the Downs, up Mt Caburn, from where it’s invisible from about halfway up, on the train from Eastbourne, where it looks stately and the Glyndebourne gardens, from where it seems majestic. Since it is erected on the Glyndebourne side of the hill, with a row of trees hiding the base, from the road to Ringmer it seemed smaller than I was expecting from the critical letters.

Eddie Gibbs’ letter talks of the Planning Committee’s vote, but seems to forget there were several days set aside for the Inspector’s hearings, where all who wished, not just experts and interested groups, had the opportunity to speak: I certainly had no impression he had a predetermined conclusion and his questions were equally searching to both sides. Indeed, Britain’s national treasure, David Attenborough, having been a sceptic until he revisited areas of the world where he saw the change, spoke in favour: I would rather trust his opinion.

Turbines have a pleasing aesthetic for me, but I understand the disappointment of those who feel otherwise, having opposed the widening of the A27, favouring the promotion of, and investment in better, cheaper and more integrated public transport. We lost that argument and had to accept it. That doesn’t diminish the passion of those who dislike either but, as Cllr Susan Murray said, the closer the production, the less waste in transmission. It hasn’t had a chance yet: I hope it does prove its worth.

Janet Mortimer, Lewes