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Bias in Rugby windfarm landscape capacity study


ASWAR calls for bias to be stuck from Rugby Borough's windfarm landscape capacity report.

The Rugby Borough have just published the final report of a windfarm landscape capacity study they commissioned from The White Partnership, based in Cardiff.

ASWAR understands the report is not yet Rugby Borough policy and will go before the cabinet in April for formal endorsement.

ASWAR’s view is :-

“Are the Rugby Borough consultants in league with the windfarm developers?

ASWAR calls upon Rugby Borough to reconsider their windfarm landscape capacity study for its illogicality and innate bias.

On the one hand it acknowedges:

The Swift valley accommodates a mature, sinuous river course and has a well defined change in level in the steeper slopes below Churchover….. The High Cross predominantly Green Belt which is a significant restraint on development.

Wind energy development would be less compatible… in valleys especially where juxtaposed with defined changes in level ...and elements like ridge and furrow…and it would affect views to the listed church and spire (Churchover), diminishing its scale and affecting its context including the conservation area …. and replace this as a focal point in the landscape.”

On the other hand it says:

Churchover and High Cross are “potentially realistic sites because of developer interest” !

Since when should ‘developer interest’ be a factor in a neutral, objective, scientific analysis? 

(It does add that any cluster of turbines would need to “minimise the effects on Churchover, the character of the Swift Valley and the cumulative effects in conjunction with the Swinford windfarm”.   The fact that the villages of Cotesbach and Shawell will also be ‘hemmed-in by a windfarm landscape’ if a cluster is built at Churchover, is totally ignored perhaps because they are outside the Rugby Borough’s boundary across the A5.)

ASWAR welcomes aspects of this report with regard to the communities around Rugby and specifically the report’s own analysis showing the Swift Valley as incompatible with wind energy development.

Nevertheless ASWAR is appalled that the consultants feel that ‘Developer interest’ should affect the appropriateness of a potential site and calls for Rugby Borough to throw out any suggestion of this bias and strike it from the report.”