Winners and losers of Polegate’s Shepham Wind Farm

Interesting as it is to see a picture of Mr Durling’s cronies jumping for joy with their little dollies, none of whom incidentally come from Polegate. This decision leaves some winners and losers.

The winners – the landowner and the developer who stand to make millions of pounds, paid for of course out of our taxes. UKIP, I will explain later.

The losers – the tax payer who will have to pay the subsidies to build these turbines and line the pockets of those mentioned above. This electricity generation costs at least ten times that of a conventional gas-fired power station, and of course that is only when there is adequate wind to make them work, about half of the time – those unfortunate people who have bought new properties in the north of Polegate. National statistics show their properties could devalue by up to 30 percent.

The Tory Party – only last November, the 16th to be precise, the government issued a statement saying local people’s views will be taken into account. Energy Minister Michael Fallon said this is a “crystal clear” pledge to communities. Another ignored pledge by David Cameron’s government which plays into the hands of UKIP. The Inspector, female by the way, ignored this.

In Polegate, during public consultation, every resident who came to the public meetings was against the application with the exception of one person who said he did not mind. An outsider was present, name above, who was in favour because he is against the use of fossil fuels for energy generation. Perhaps he is unaware that these turbines have diesel engines in them to kick start them, possibly the dirtiest fuel currently being used. The activists did circulate a pro-forma letter for people to sign. This was vastly outweighed by the individual letters of protest submitted by bona-fide residents.

Other losers – the council tax payers of Wealden District Council who have a bill for about £100,000 to defend the democratic decision of the South Wealden District Planning committee. This money could have been spent on improving services or increases in salary to staff who have been severely constrained so far.

It may well turn out to be a Pyrrhic victory for the developers and the activists as at present there is no spare capacity to connect to the National Grid and there will be none for many years. Given government austerity measures this approval will simply join that for over 3,000 that have been approved with no chance of ever being built.

Also, if you are a collector of road kill, you will be legitimately able to taste swan. At least 40 regularly alight in one of the fields within a few hundred yards of the proposed turbines.

The Inspector’s decision is being referred back to the Secretary of State for review.

Michael Clewett