LETTER: Power does not grow on trees

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Having recently driven to the French Alps and back, we were amazed at how many wind turbines and solar panels we saw. In the Alps they are even building apartments with solar panels incorporated into the sides of the buildings.

It graphically illustrated how far behind the times we are in this country in our use of renewable energy. In Germany, in the summer, as much as 25 per cent of their energy needs is supplied by solar panels.

I appreciate that not everyone can afford to benefit from solar panels on their own property. In an ideal world the Government would have the money to help everyone have solar panels or wind turbines if appropriate, so that so many large solar and wind farms would not be necessary.

So I was delighted to see that three applications for local solar farms were being considered. At last we are entering the 21st century, I thought.

Some of the negative comments against the proposals were just irrelevant personal attacks made by people who live miles away from the proposed fields. Most people in the area are in favour of them. I was shocked when all three applications were turned down!

We vote for these councillors to make decisions for the good of all of us, not to listen to the minority ‘Not in my backyard’ brigade.

Do they realise what is happening in the real world – do they even read the applications they are voting on?!

Comments such as ‘renewable energy bandwagon’, ‘no community benefits’ etc, show that they do not. This is nothing to do with fashion or global warming. It is basic economics of supply and demand.

Coal pits are closing and our nuclear power stations are almost obsolete, yet our consumption of electricity increases all the time. The French and Chinese are building us a new nuclear power station, but that will not be active for many years and will only supply about seven per cent of UK electricity needs!

Solar and wind farms are a much quicker solution. A solar farm takes three months to build, with some disruption to local people, but then it’s up and running and can be forgotten about.

One of the applications would only be seen from one house afterwards. Hardly as obtrusive as a large industrial power station!

Also, the companies building the solar farms were going to donate substantional amounts to Steyning, Ashurst and Partridge Green parish councils.

This would have helped Steyning Grammar School, Ashurst Village Hall and Partridge Green skatepark, amongst others. I would call that a ‘community benefit’, which will now have to be funded by us, the local people!

Call me a conspiracy theorist if you want to, but it does make one wonder if perhaps some members of the ‘Not in my backyard brigade’ have infiltrated the council!

CAROLINE CROY

Bines Road, Partridge Green