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Hints and Tips for Developers
Once you examine the spin being deployed by Industrial Wind Power Station developers some interesting patterns emerge. We began to wonder exactly what kind of advice an experienced developer might give to someone just starting out...
Here is ASWAR's set of best-practice Hints and Tips. With thanks to 'Stop the spin''
TOP TIP: Ensure that you describe your Industrial Wind Power Station as a Wind Farm at every conceivable opportunity.
|The words Wind Farm conjure up a picturesque image and are far less likely to cause concern than words like "industrial-scale Wind Power Station project"|
Never use the name of a community, village or town as the brand name for your Wind Power Station. Brand names like Rugby or Churchover Wind Farm are out of the question.
|It is vital that few people realise that the Wind Power Station will be visible from their house. Under no circumstances use the name of a place where lots of people actually live!|
|If you use the name of a local community do make sure that you pick a really isolated small one with very few resources, even if this is not that close to your site.||
When people in the larger communities read about your plans in the paper they will assume that these will not affect them. It is far easier to brow-beat a small rural community than a large one. And the less cash the locals have to spare then the less of a legal fight they can afford to put up!
The best option is probably to name your Power Station after an obscure landscape feature that very few people have ever heard of. Bransford Bridge, Low Spinney or Splodgetts Bottom all sound ideal. Swift sounds nice.
|It will take ages for the local yokels to work out exactly where your site is. And every day they are kept in ignorance is another day they won't spend objecting or generally making a nuisance of themselves!|
Fill all of your websites and promotional newsletters with crystal clear water, farm animals, lovely bunnies and birdies, playing in lovely green fields. Pick fresh natural colours and don't mention that you are only in the development game for the hard cash.
Call your company some nice 'green' sounding name. Under no circumstances mention you are owned by some massive building group or one of the big energy companies who have been fined for mis-selling.
Local nature lovers really go for this stuff. If they buy the concept that this will just be a nice "windy farm", then they will rapidly lose interest. Save any mention of grubbing up hedges, deporting badgers, building roads or pouring thousands of tons of concrete for the fine print of your Environmental Impact Assessment. They probably won't bother to read this anyway.
A name like RES for example is a good one, green and fluffy. Saying you are part of a massive building and construction group like the Robert McAlpine Group, who people may associate with concreting over the green fields must be avoided.
When you publish your brochures make sure your photomontage images show "predicted views" that are taken from a long way away. Three or four miles would be great, more if you can manage it. Ideally put a cow or something of a known scale in the foreground.
|The key to a successful community engagement smokescreen is to ensure the local yokels don't realise that your wind power station will be bloody enormous. Fortunately anything can be made to look small if you stand back far enough. Who could object to a power station that is smaller than a cow!|
|TOP HINT: Never show a view of your constructed Wind Power Station which has an identifiable object in the same focal plane.||
If you get this simple trick right then no-one will be able to tell how big your installation is. It could be four feet high or four hundred and fifteen feet high and no-one can tell the difference! What larks eh?
|Sooner or later the jobsworths in the local planning department will want to see photomontage images from somewhere a bit closer. Make sure you have your photos taken in mid-summer and get the contractor to stand or even better kneel behind as many trees as he can find.||
If you are not careful this is where the cracks can begin to show in your community engagement facade. Luckily with ingenuity even a modest copse can hide a lot of Power Station, providing you pick your spot. The locals might take the mickey a bit, but brazen it out and whatever you do - keep a straight face at the planning hearing! Planners really hate applicants who smirk.
|Quote all dimensions in metres and hectares.||
Bigger units make for less scary numbers so steer well clear of quoting any height measurements in feet . No-one know what a hectare looks like so always quote this when referring to the land area being despoiled. Most older British residents don't really understand metric, so they probably won't realise that your wind power station will be absolutely enormous until it's far too late. Bless 'em.
|Hire specialist PR and communications professionals to deal with the locals and keep them off your back.||Frankly these vocal, not-in-my-back yard types are a real pain in the neck. Hire a specialist firm to run your exhibitions, your website and all the community engagement crap. They know how to play the system and will pretend that you really care about the views of local people, whilst keeping a straight face. Unfortunately these people are not cheap but you stand to make shedloads of cash if you keep the planners on-side as a result!|