Support Sparsholt Green Gas Mill Before 15th Aug Deadline

Many of us supported the construction of a “Green Gas” Mill at Sparsholt Agricultural College near Winchester. And many thanks for that, but can you help out again?

The gas mill is being developed by Ecotricity. It is not a community owned project; but we are talking to Ecotricity about other joint community projects.

sparsholt-college-and-ecotricity
The mill takes locally grown silage/grass and turns it into carbon neutral natural gas (methane). The methane is then fed into the national gas grid for use in heating and cooking within local homes and businesses. The Carbon Dioxide produced from burning the gas is almost exactly the same amount as the Carbon Dioxide taken out of the atmosphere by growing the grass/silage. So this means local people can burn the gas without any net carbon emissions.

Ecotricity’s original planning application was turned down by the Winchester Planning Committee for one single reason – the alleged impact on road transport. (We are sure it had nothing to do with the fact that the application was heard a few weeks before the local elections!)

The road transport issue was (and still is) a red herring introduced by the objectors at a late stage. What the objectors “forgot” to point out is that whatever crops are grown on local fields they all need to be transported off the farm. Whether it be wheat, beet, maize or oil seed, lorries would still need to take it away to local processing plants. The Green Gas Mill would have no overall impact on road movements.

Even so Ecotricity has re-submitted their plans and have offered to ensure:
1. Road transport movements are stopped during peak times and during the school run.
2. Certain rural routes will not be used.
3. Most road movement would be to and from A roads.
4. Off road farm tracks will be used as much as possible.

They now need as much local support as they can get. That’s where you come in!

HREC in general supports zero carbon gas production. The purpose of this email is to ask you to send an email of support for the Gas Mill.

This can be done by clicking here.

Please show your support for this important project.
NB We need to act soon as the deadline for comments is fast approaching.

It would be great if you could also share this email with friends and colleagues, and on social media.

As always – many thanks for your help!

 

Images courtesy of Ecotricity

Co-operating for a greener Hampshire

Hampshire Renewable Energy Co-operative (HREC) has taken a close look at how much renewable energy is generated in Hampshire and the contribution we all make to total energy use within the county. The results are nothing to be proud of!

Hampshire Renewable Energy Co-operative have produced a detailed report on the amount of energy used in Hampshire and how much of our energy demand is met by locally produced renewable energy. The results are disappointing. “Whilst the UK is close to meeting its targets for renewables; Hampshire is falling woefully behind” says Martin Heath a Director of HREC.

The UK has a legally binding target of producing 15% of all its energy from renewable sources by 2020.  Most other counties in the UK are doing their bit to help meet this target. As Martin says “We all have a responsibility to produce as much energy as possible from renewables – it’s cleaner, cheaper and better. On average the UK meets about 12% of its energy needs from renewables.  But the result in Hampshire is a very disappointing 1.8%”.

Andrew Thompson, Chair of HREC points out “Hampshire is doing OK in installing solar but is really falling behind in other technologies which is a great shame as we in Hampshire have some of the best renewable energy resources in the country”.

George Belfield one of the main authors of the report says “We looked extensively at every renewable energy site in the county; from that we calculated the amount of energy generated renewably for electricity, heat and transport.  From analysis of DECC statistics we were able to ascertain just how much energy is used by the people and business of Hampshire.   It is surprising that Hampshire uses so much; what is even more surprising that almost all our energy is brought in from outside the county. Most counties in the UK are stepping up and meeting their responsibilities for reducing the impact on our environment from burning fossil fuels.  Unfortunately, we in Hampshire are not”.

Martin Heath, comments: “Just 1.8% of the total energy we use in Hampshire comes from locally produced renewable energy.  Other parts of the UK are achieving 5 times this amount. Climate change is something that affects us all – we have to step up and take responsibility. We can’t expect other to do it for us.”

The full report is here

– ENDS –

Notes to Editors

1.    Hampshire Renewable Energy Co-operative has been established to speed up the transition from fossil fuel based energy towards generation using renewable sources – such as wind, power and biomass. We aim to establish a range of renewable energy generation facilities in the county, maximise co-operative and community ownership and the benefits deriving from such production. By co-ordinating information on renewable energy projects, we can provide a resource for education about all aspects of renewable energy. For further information about the group, please visit www.hampshire-energy.coop
2.    HREC commissioned a report from local energy experts to assess how much renewable energy is being produced in the county and how this compares with how much is being consumed within the county.

 

HREC Solar for Schools Conference

Calling all schools and colleges – Sign up here Eventbrite

Community funded solar panels can greatly benefit schools and colleges and can be free. With such a project schools can:

  1. Reduce energy costs
  2. Cut carbon emissions
  3. Gain an invaluable educational resource

Many schools and colleges in Hampshire have already benefited from solar energy. Join us at the HREC Solar for Schools Conference to find out more.

Local schools and colleges are invited to a one day workshop on solar panels for schools organised by Hampshire Renewable Energy Co-operative, being held on Tuesday 24th November 2015 at Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT).

There is a great opportunity for many schools in Hampshire to take advantage of their building rooftops which can be ideal for solar panels, and this workshop is designed to show you how.

Guest speakers from BCoT, solar panel installers, financiers, a community energy co-operative and 10:10 will be explaining how a school can benefit from solar panels, how they are installed and how they can be paid for by the local community. The workshop will cover the UK renewable energy market, technology, financial models, planning and legal issues and a case study of BCoT who have already installed a 100kW, 400 solar panel array.

This free event will run from 10am to 3pm with lunch provided by the renowned Restaurant at BCoT. There will also be an opportunity to take a tour of the existing solar panels at the college.

Realising the time pressures on school staff, attendees are welcome to come for the morning, afternoon, the whole day or simply join us for lunch.

The HREC Solar for Schools Conference is the ideal way to learn more about the benefits of solar energy, and to find out if your roof space may be suitable for solar panels.

Sign up here Eventbrite

Feel free to contact us for more information

 

Which needs more land, fracking or wind?

With organisations like CPRE, in principle supporting fracking, while vocally opposing forms of renewable energy like wind farming; we thought we’d investigate one of the main claims made by supporters of this technology.

“Fracking requires only a few acres of land, while wind farms require hundreds.”

They are right – each well-head does indeed only take up a couple of acres.  But to frack a gas field requires hundreds of well heads.  For example it might require several hundred or even several thousand well-heads to completely frack the gas field beneath Hampshire.

Broadly speaking each well-head will have up to nine additional wells, radiating out from the head for about 2-4 km. Each well head therefore, can frack about 55 sq km (assuming a 3km average well length).

The deep layers of shale rock that holds gas covers many thousand square kilometers of British countryside. Hampshire sits on gas shale around 3,700 sq km in size, which would require 65 well-head to frack  the whole lot.

Move them closer together (2km per well) and we would need 150, each with up to nine additional wells around those.

And there’s more.

Fracking creates lot’s of traffic. Each fracking well must first be constructed, requiring large machinery to install the high pressure pumps and dig the lagoons to collect the fluid.

The water required for fracking must be transported by tanker to each well-head. The fracking fluid (which is contaminated and slightly radioactive) must then also be removed from the well head by tanker and taken to a treatment plant. All this requires massive movement of water and fracking fluid by lorry across the countyside.

This is what a typical well head looks like during construction.

fracking1The pictures below are of typical fracking fields in the US. They show how the well heads are spread out; but connected by service roads.

Fracking Image USGSFracking

But that is only the start. Once the well-head enters the production phase then the gas has to be transported from each well-head. This can be done by pipeline or by tanker. A network of pipes can be laid to connect each well head (a major construction project) or the gas can be collected (and liquefied) at the well-head and collected by tanker.

All these tanker movements happen along country roads from isolated well-heads spread every 2-10 kms across the Hampshire countryside.

Is this really what we want? Talk about industrialising the countryside. Once these fields are occupied by well-heads, they cannot be used for anything else.

Oh, there are also many reports detailing the health and water table pollution issues associated with fracking e.g.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/30/doctors-and-academics-call-for-ban-on-inherently-risky-fracking.

Compare this to wind farms

On the other hand a single wind turbine only has a “footprint” of some 600 sq meters.  All the rest of the land within a wind farm can be used, and is used, to grow crops or graze animals.

Councillor and MP contacts

Thanks for your help and support so far.

With Bullington Cross now at appeal we need you more than ever to make a noise and get your voices heard.

Writing to your Local Politician is one of the best ways you can do that and with a little help from us, it won’t take more than a few minutes.

Below you will find everything you need to write a persuasive letter that won’t be ignored.

Thank you again for your support. Together we can make Hampshire greener!

Suggested text

…but feel free to write your own words adding your own personal comments and feelings about the wind farm and the benefits it will bring to the local community

Dear

Re: Bullington Cross Wind Farm  Planning Application 13/00753/FULLN / 13/00046/FUL / 13/00800/FUL. Appeal Reference: APP/C1760/W/14/3001604

I have already shown my support for the wind farm at Bullington Cross via the planning consultation process. I’m concerned that the clear majority of the public is not being listened to.

This majority understands the clear and urgent need for renewable energy. Building wind farms in the South of England is vital for the long term resilience of the area. Not only does Hampshire currently rely heavily on the import of energy, mostly from the burning of fossil fuels (which is the major cause of climate change), but also the money spent on this energy leaves the county.

The Government’s own climate change targets can only be met if everyone plays his/her part.  We all have a duty to play our part and the building of Bullington Cross Wind Farm will not only show our  support for combating climate change but will also help us to generate more income for the local area, via rates, jobs and community ownership.

Wind farms are clean, modern, efficient and quiet.  A very few people will say they are ugly but banning things because they are ugly is a dangerous road to take. The look of something should not outweigh its clear economic and environmental benefits. The real damage to our landscape will be done by climate change not by a few wind farms.

Over 2,700 local people have contacted the planning officers to show their support for community ownership of Bullington Cross wind farm.  Community ownership is important.  It means the benefits of the farm are shared with us, the local community.

Recent Government statistics (source DECC) show that 70 % of the UK public support wind farms. I am one of those  70 %. It is important to me that local elected representatives and decision makers listen to this overwhelming majority.

Can you assure me that you, as my local representative, will ensure that my views are known and acted upon.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely..

Wind Farms – A dozen good reasons

1. 70% of the UK population support wind farms.

2. 2,750 local people have written to Basingstoke, Winchester and Andover councils asking for community ownership of the Bullington Cross wind farm.

3. The benefits of wind farms far outweigh any costs. They reduce carbon emissions, do not produce pollution,  produce cheap renewable energy, generate local jobs, increase council revenues, and reduce our reliance on expensive dirty imported fossil fuels. 

4. Wind farms generated enough electricity to power 5 million homes last year.

6. Wind farms are just as efficient as nuclear, gas, and coal fired power plants.

5. By the end of 2013 17% of UK electricity came from renewable resources.

6. Wind farms have a smaller impact on our landscape than coal, oil, gas or nuclear power plants.

7. We have to get our electricity from somewhere it makes sense that we make some of it ourselves.

8. Hampshire spends £4 billion a year on fossil fuels to generate energy.  This is a drain on our local economy.  We can make energy renewably ourselves and save money. 

9. Community ownership means the benefits and profits from the wind farm accrue to local people ie US.

10. A co-operative (Hampshire Renewable Energy Co-op) has been formed to buy a community stake in the wind farm.

11. The biggest danger facing our countryside is climate change.

12. A NO to wind farms = A YES for climate change.

MP contacts

Winchester: Mr Steve Brine MP
steve.brine.mp@parliament.uk

North West Hampshire: Mr Kit Malthouse MP

kit.malthouse.mp@parliament.uk

Basingstoke: Mrs Hon Maria Miller MP
maria.miller.mp@parliament.uk

Councillor Contacts

Winchester City Council

Ward Title First Name Last Name Party Email
Whiteley Cllr Vivian Achwal Liberal Democrat vachwal@winchester.gov.uk
St John and All Saints Cllr Janet Berry Labour jberry@winchester.gov.uk
St Barnabas Cllr Eileen Berry Conservative eberry@winchester.gov.uk
Upper Meon Valley Ward Cllr Norma Bodtger Conservative nbodtger@winchester.gov.uk
St Bartholomew Cllr Rosemary Burns Conservative
Littleton and Harestock Cllr James Byrnes Conservative jbyrnes@winchester.gov.uk
Wickham Cllr Angela Clear Liberal Democrat aclear@winchester.gov.uk
The Alresfords Cllr Simon Cook Liberal Democrat scook@winchester.gov.uk
Colden Common and Twyford Cllr Susan Cook Conservative
Boarhunt and Southwick Ward Cllr Neil Cutler Liberal Democrat ncutler@winchester.gov.uk
Droxford Soberton and Hambledon Ward Cllr Caroline Dibden Conservative cdibden@winchester.gov.uk
Oliver’s Battery and Badger Farm Cllr Patrick Fancett Liberal Democrat pfancett@winchester.gov.uk
Shedfield Cllr Linda Gemmell Conservative lgemmell@winchester.gov.uk
Wonston and Micheldever Ward Cllr Stephen Godfrey Conservative sgodfrey@winchester.gov.uk
St Luke Cllr Derek Green Liberal Democrat dgreen@winchester.gov.uk
St Bartholomew Cllr Dominic Hiscock Liberal Democrat dhiscock@winchester.gov.uk
Sparsholt Cllr Caroline Horrill Conservative chorril@winchester.gov.uk
Owslebury and Curdridge Ward Cllr Robert Humby Conservative rhumby@winchester.gov.uk
St Paul Cllr Liz Hutchison Liberal Democrat lhutchison@winchester.gov.uk
Shedfield Cllr Roger Huxstep Conservative rhuxstep@winchester.gov.uk
Colden Common and Twyford Cllr Richard Izard Liberal Democrat rizard@winchester.gov.uk
The Arlesfords Cllr Ernest Jeffs Conservative ejeffs@winchester.gov.uk
Kings Worthy Cllr Robert Johnston Liberal Democrat rjohnston@winchester.gov.uk
Oliver’s Battery and Badger Farm Cllr Brian Laming Liberal Democrat blaming@winchester.gov.uk
Wonston and Micheldever Ward Cllr Barry Lipscomb Conservative blipscomb@winchester.gov.uk
Colden Common and Twyford Cllr Peter Kent Mason Liberal Democrat pmason@winchester.gov.uk
St Michael Cllr Fiona Mather Conservative fmather@winchester.gov.uk
St Bartholomew Cllr James Maynard Liberal Democrat jmaynard@winchester.gov.uk
Wickham Cllr Therese Evans Liberal Democrat tevans@winchester.gov.uk
Bishops Waltham Cllr David McLean Conservative dmclean@winchester.gov.uk
Bishops Waltham Cllr Steve Miller Conservative smiller@winchester.gov.uk
Whiteley Cllr Sam Newman-McKie Liberal Democrat snewmanmckie@winchester.gov.uk
St Barnabas Cllr Helen Osborne Conservative hosborne@winchester.gov.uk
Swandmore and Newtown Ward Cllr Frank Pearson Conservative fpearson@winchester.gov.uk
Denmead Cllr Kirk Phillips Conservative kphillips@winchester.gov.uk
The Arlesfords Cllr Margot Power Liberal Democrat mpower@winchester.gov.uk
St Luke Cllr Rosemary Prowse Liberal Democrat rprowse@winchester.gov.uk
Denmead Cllr Michael Read Conservative mread@winchester.gov.uk
Owslebury and Curdridge Ward Cllr Laurence Ruffel Conservative lruffel@winchester.gov.uk
Bishops Waltham Cllr Tom Ruffel Conservative truffel@winchester.gov.uk
Kings Worthy Cllr Jane Rutter Liberal Democrat jrutter@winchester.gov.uk
St Michael Cllr Robert Sanders Conservative rsanders@winchester.gov.uk
St Luke Cllr Jamie Scott Liberal Democrat jscott@winchester.gov.uk
St John and All Saints Cllr Jonathan Scowen Conservative jscowen@winchester.gov.uk
Compton and Otterbourne Cllr Mike Southgate Conservative msouthgate@winchester.gov.uk
Denmead Cllr Particia Stallard Conservative pstallard@winchester.gov.uk
St Michael Cllr Ian Tait Conservative itait@winchester.gov.uk
Cheriton and Bishops Sutton Ward Cllr Amber Thacker COnservative athacker@winchester.gov.uk
St Paul Cllr Lucille Thompson Liberal Democrat lthompson@winchester.gov.uk
St Paul Cllr Martin Tod Liberal Democrat mtod@winchester.gov.uk
Littleton and Harestock Cllr Paul Twelftree Conservative ptwelftree@winchester.gov.uk
Compton and Otterbourne Cllr Jan Warwick Conservative jwarwick@winchester.gov.uk
St Barnabas Cllr Anne Weir Liberal Democrat aweir@winchester.gov.uk
Swanmore and Newtown Ward Cllr Victoria Weston Conservative vweston@winchester.gov.uk
Wonston and Micheldever Ward Cllr Malcom Wright Independent mwright@winchester.gov.uk

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council

Ward Title First Name Last Name Party Email
Hatch Warren and Beggardwood Cllr Rebecca Bean Conservative Cllr.Rebecca.Bean@basingstoke.gov.uk
Baughurst and Tadley North Cllr Micheal Bound Liberal Democrat cllr.michael.bound@basingstoke.gov.uk
Rooksdown Cllr Simon Bond Conservative cllr.simon.bond@basingstoke.gov.uk
Chineham Cllr Joyce Bowyer Conservative cllr.joyce.bowyer@basingstoke.gov.uk
Kempshott Cllr Rita Burgess Conservative cllr.rita.burgess@basingstoke.gov.uk
Kempshott Cllr Anne Court Conservative cllr.anne.court@basingstoke.gov.uk
Brookvale & Kings Furlong Cllr Jack Cousens Labour Cllr.Jack.Cousens@basingstoke.gov.uk
Basing Cllr Onnalee Cubitt Independent cllr.onnalee.cubitt@basingstoke.gov.uk
Grove Cllr Stephen Day Liberal Democrat Cllr.Stephen.Day@basingstoke.gov.uk
Whitchurch Cllr Eric Dunlop Liberal Democrat cllr.eric.dunlop@basingstoke.gov.uk
Kempshott Cllr Hayley Eachus Conservative cllr.hayley.eachus@basingstoke.gov.uk
Winklebury Cllr Laura Edwards Conservative Cllr.Laura.Edwards@basingstoke.gov.uk
Brighton Hill South Cllr Matt Ellery Independent Cllr.Matthew.Ellery@basingstoke.gov.uk
Burghclere, Highclere & St Marybourne Cllr Graham Falconer Conservative Cllr.Graham.Falconer@basingstoke.gov.uk
Popley West Cllr Jane Frankum Labour cllr.jane.frankum@basingstoke.gov.uk
Popley West Cllr Paul Frankum Labour cllr.paul.frankum@basingstoke.gov.uk
Oakley & North Waltham Cllr Stuart Frost Conservative Cllr.Stuart.Frost@basingstoke.gov.uk
Pamber & Silchester Cllr Roger Gardiner Conservative Cllr.Roger.Gardiner@basingstoke.gov.uk
Basing Cllr Sven Godesen Conservative cllr.sven.godesen@basingstoke.gov.uk
Oakley & North Waltham Cllr Rob Golding Conservative cllr.rob.golding@basingstoke.gov.uk
Brighton Hill North Cllr Hannah Golding Conservative cllr.hannah.golding@basingstoke.gov.uk
Norden Cllr Paul Harvey Labour cllr.paul.harvey@basingstoke.gov.uk
Norden Cllr George Hood Labour cllr.george.hood@basingstoke.gov.uk
Grove Cllr Ronald Hussey Lib Dem cllr.ron.hussey@basingstoke.gov.uk
Burghclere, Highclere & St Marybourne Cllr John Izett Conservative Cllr.John.Izett@basingstoke.gov.uk
Norden Cllr Lauren James Labour cllr.laura.james@basingstoke.gov.uk
Eastrop Cllr Gavin James Liberal Democrat cllr.gavin.james@basingstoke.gov.uk
Buckskin Cllr Tony Jones Labour Cllr.Tony.Jones@basingstoke.gov.uk
South Ham Cllr Sean Keating Labour cllr.sean.keating@basingstoke.gov.uk
Sherbourne St John Cllr John Leek Conservative cllr.john.leek@basingstoke.gov.uk
Tadley South Cllr David Leeks Conservative cllr.david.leeks@basingstoke.gov.uk
Brighton Hill South Cllr Pamela Lonie Labour Cllr.Pamela.Lonie@basingstoke.gov.uk
Chineham Cllr Paul Miller Conservative cllr.paul.miller@basingstoke.gov.uk
Tadley South Cllr Rob Musson Conservative cllr.robert.musson@basingstoke.gov.uk
Kingsclere Cllr Cathy Osselton Conservative cllr.cathy.osselton@basingstoke.gov.uk
Eastrop Cllr Stuart Parker Liberal Democrat cllr.stuart.parker@basingstoke.gov.uk
Overton, Laverstoke and Steventon Cllr Colin Phillimore Labour cllr.colin.phillimore@basingstoke.gov.uk
Buckskin Cllr Nigel Price Labour Cllr.Nigel.Pierce@basingstoke.gov.uk
Basing Cllr Clive Pinder Conservative cllr.clive.pinder@basingstoke.gov.uk
Popley East Cllr David Potter Labour Cllr.David.Potter@basingstoke.gov.uk
Hatch Warren and Beggardwood Cllr Dan Putty Conservative cllr.dan.putty@basingstoke.gov.uk
South Ham Cllr Colin Regan Labour Cllr.Colin.Regan@basingstoke.gov.uk
Hatch Warren and Beggardwood Cllr Terri Reid Conservative cllr.terri.reid@basingstoke.gov.uk
Tadley Central Cllr Jonathan Richards Conservative cllr.jonathan.richards@basingstoke.gov.uk
Bramley and Sherfield Cllr Nicholas Robinson Conservative cllr.nicholas.robinson@bsingstoke.gov.uk
Upton Grey and The Candovers Cllr Mark Ruffell Conservative cllr.mark.ruffell@basingstoke.gov.uk
East Woodhay Cllr Clive Sanders Conservative cllr.clive.sanders@basingstoke.gov.uk
Kingsclere Cllr Donald Sherlock Conservative Cllr.Donald.Sherlock@basingstoke.gov.uk
Winklebury Cllr Joseph Smith Conservative cllr.joseph.smith@basingstoke.gov.uk
Chineham Cllr Elaine Still Conservative cllr.elaine.still@basingstoke.gov.uk
Baughurst and Tadley North Cllr Robert Tate Conservative Cllr.Robert.Tate@basingstoke.gov.uk
Brighton Hill North Cllr Mark Taylor Labour Cllr.Mark.Taylor@basingstoke.gov.uk
Oakley & North Waltham Cllr Diane Taylor Conservative cllr.diane.taylor@basingstoke.gov.uk
Overton, Laverstoke and Steventon Cllr Ian Tilbury Independent cllr.ian.tilbury@basingstoke.gov.uk
Bramley and Sherfield Cllr Chris Tomblin Independent Cllr.Chris.Tomblin@basingstoke.gov.uk
Pamber & Silchester Cllr Marilyn Tucker Conservative cllr.marilyn.tucker@basingstoke.gov.uk
Popley East Cllr Vivien Washbourne Labour Cllr.Vivien.Washbourne@basingstoke.gov.uk
Labour Cllr Gary Watts Labour Cllr.Gary.Watts@basingstoke.gov.uk
Whitchurch Cllr keith Watts Liberal Democrat cllr.keith.watts@basingstoke.gov.uk
Brookvale & Kings Furlong Cllr Michael Westbrook Labour Cllr.Michael.Westbrook@basingstoke.gov.uk

Test Valley Borough Council

Ward Title First Name Last Name Party Email
Blackwater Cllr Nick Adams-King Conservatives Cllrnadams-king@testvalley.gov.uk
Chilworth, Nursling and Rownhams Cllr Nigel Anderdon Conservatives cllrnanderdon@testvalley.gov.uk
Andover (St Mary’s) Cllr Iris Andersen Conservatives cllriandersen@testvalley.gov.uk
Blackwater Cllr Gordon Bailey MBE Conservatives cllrgbailey@testvalley.gov.uk
Romsey (Cupernham) Cllr Dorothy Baverstock Liberal Democrats cllrdbaverstock@testvalley.gov.uk
Valley Park Cllr Andrew Beesley Liberal Democrats cllrabeesley@testvalley.gov.uk
Andover (Harroway) Cllr Carl Borg-Neal Conservatives cllrcborg-neal@testvalley.gov.uk
Stockbridge Cllr Peter Boulton Conservatives cllrpboulton@testvalley.gov.uk
Andover (Alamein) Cllr Alexander Brook Conservatives cllrabrook@testvalley.gov.uk
Andover (Millway) Cllr Zillah Brooks Conservatives cllrzbrooks@testvalley.gov.uk
Andover (Winton) Cllr Jan Budzynski Conservatives cllrjbudzynski@testvalley.gov.uk
Chilworth, Nursling and Rownhams Cllr Phil Bundy Conservatives cllrpbundy@testvalley.gov.uk
Broughton and Stockbridge Cllr Daniel Busk Conservatives Cllrdbusk@testvalley.gov.uk
Charlton Cllr Ian Carr Conservatives cllricarr@testvalley.gov.uk
Andover (St Mary’s) Cllr John Cockaday Conservatives Cllrjcockaday@testvalley.gov.uk
Romsey (Abbey) Cllr Clive Collier Conservatives cllrccollier@testvalley.gov.uk
Romsey (Tadburn) Cllr Mark Cooper Liberal Democrats cllrmcooper@testvalley.gov.uk
North Baddesley Cllr Stephen Cosier Liberal Democrats Cllrscosier@testvalley.gov.uk
Andover (St Mary’s) Cllr David Denny Conservatives Cllrddenny@testvalley.gov.uk
Valley Park Cllr Alan Dowden Liberal Democrats cllradowden@testvalley.gov.uk
North Baddesley Cllr Celia Dowden Liberal Democrats cllradowden@testvalley.gov.uk
Harewood Cllr David Drew Conservatives Cllrddrew@testvalley.gov.uk
Amport Cllr Benjam Brown Independent cllrbfewbrown@testvalley.gov.uk
Chilworth, Nursling and Rownhams Cllr Alison Finlay Conservatives cllrafinlay@testvalley.gov.uk
Anna Cllr Maureen Flood Conservatives cllrmflood@testvalley.gov.uk
Bourne Valley Cllr Peter Giddings Conservatives cllrpgiddings@testvalley.gov.uk
Andover (Harroway) Cllr Karen Hamilton Conservatives cllrkhamilton@testvalley.gov.uk
Amfield and Braishfield Cllr Martin Hatley Conservatives cllrmhatley@testvalley.gov.uk
Andover (Millway) Cllr Sandra Hawke Conservatives cllrshawke@testvalley.gov.uk
Romsey Extra Cllr Ian Hibberd Conservatives cllrihibberd@testvalley.gov.uk
Over Wallop Cllr Anthony Hope Conservatives cllrahope@testvalley.gov.uk
Romsey (Tadburn) Cllr Peter Hurst Liberal Democrats cllrphurst@testvalley.gov.uk
Dun Valley Cllr Ian Jeffrey Conservatives CllrIjeffrey@testvalley.gov.uk
Romsey Extra Cllr Alison Johnston Conservatives cllrajohnston@testvalley.gov.uk
Penton Bellinger Cllr Phillip Lashbrook Conservatives cllrplashbrook@testvalley.gov.uk
Andover (Winton) Cllr Jan Lovell Conservatives cllrjlovell@testvalley.gov.uk
Andover (Winton) Cllr Christopher Lynn Conservatives cllrclynn@testvalley.gov.uk
Penton Bellinger Cllr Pam Mutton Conservatives cllrpmutton@testvalley.gov.uk
Andover (Millway) Cllr James Neal Conservatives cllrjneal@testvalley.gov.uk
Andover (Alamein) Cllr Phillip North Conservatives cllrpnorth@testvalley.gov.uk
Andover (Harroway) Cllr Brian Page MBE Conservatives cllrbpage@testvalley.gov.uk
Andover (Alamein) Cllr Tracey Preston Conservatives cllrtpreston@testvalley.gov.uk
Romsey Cllr Ian Richards Conservatives cllririchards@testvalley.gov.uk
Anna Cllr Graham Stallard Conservatives cllrgstallard@testvalley.gov.uk
Valley Park Cllr Margaret Tilling Liberal Democrats cllrmtilling@testvalley.gov.uk
North Baddesley Cllr Ann Tupper Liberal Democrats cllratupper@testvalley.gov.uk
King Somborne and Michelmersh Cllr Tony Wards Conservatives cllrtwards@testvalley.gov.uk

 

Wind Power – Just hot air? or a sensible future?

Turbines at Westmill

Our community wind farm, despite being banned by councillors, continues to spark debate and make headlines in local newspapers.

Recently, chief Anti-Windfarmer, Douglas Patterson wrote to the Basingstoke Gazette (Why Wind Power is Just Hot Air) to express his gratitude to the councillors and suggest his own solution to the energy and climate crisis; Thorium Nuclear reactors in every town.

You can read his letter to the paper here.

However, his suggestion for ‘safe, clean energy’ did not go unnoticed by supporters of our community wind farm, whom quickly wrote into the Gazette with more realistic ideas and suggestions.

You can read them here.

We also made it into the Hampshire Chronicle with letters from another supporter. You can find copies of these below.

No green wind farm in my back yard

Wind Farm efficiency

It goes to show, you can make a difference. Write a letter to your local newspaper and it could be seen by thousands of people. Or why not write a letter to your councillor?

If you have been inspired to pick up a pen, or take to the keyboard, and write a letter of your own.

Thanks!

 

Photo Credits: Jeff Kubina, Rowbes Photography

Councillors say ‘No’ to community wind farm

Press Release – Local people let down by Councillors.

Yesterday Basingstoke, Test Valley and Winchester councils voted to ban the community owned wind farm at Bullington Cross.  All three  Councils decided to completely ignore the massive local support for the farm.

Basingstoke, Test Valley and Winchester Councils decided last night that they would ignore local people and voted to ban the partially community owned wind farm at Bullington Cross.

Two thousand Eight Hundred and Forty Five (2,845) people wrote to or emailed the three councils asking them to support the wind farm.  Despite this and with 70% of the UK population wanting wind farms OUR councils decided to refuse a planning application for the construction of a 14 turbine wind farm at Bullington Cross.

The majority of Councillors gave one or more of the following reasons for refusing the planning application from EDF-ER for Bullington Cross Wind Farm:

  1. The turbines look ugly.  This was despite being shown pictures on a big screen of what the turbines would look like and even the planning officers saying “Sorry; you just can’t see them”
  2. There was a perceived danger that aeroplanes might fly in to them.  This was despite two reports from aviation experts that there are no safety concerns over the turbines.
  3. Wind farms are a danger to wildlife that may live on the site. This was despite the offer from the developer to mitigate these risks and there being no objection from the RSPB. The biggest danger to our wildlife is global warming; but most councillors disagreed with that.
  4. The MoD needs the area to practice low flying. This was despite the councils being told that the MoD low flying area is 12,500 sq km and that Bullington Cross covers just 0.03% of this area (4.5 sq km).
  5. The turbines ‘might’ interfere with a weather radar 15km from the site.  This was despite the offer from the developer NOT to build the wind farm until this problem had been sorted out.
  6. The wind turbines ‘might spoil the view of a single listed house 3.9km from the site. This was despite being shown pictures that the turbines would be specks on the horizon at that distance.

Martin Heath a Director of Hampshire Renewable Energy Co-op said “Clearly this is a great disappointment to us and to the many volunteers that helped us out over the past 13 months. A lot of hard work has been put into getting a community ownership of the wind farm; many more people supported the wind farm than opposed it; but still our councillors don’t get it.  The biggest danger to us, our ecology and our wildlife is global warming.  Somehow our councillors think it is wind farms that are dangerous!”

Martin also thanked all those that came along to the council meeting; demonstrated outside and spoke-up at the meeting.  He said “It was heart-warming to see all those local people stand-up in front of the councils and so passionately describe their support for community wind farms.  It was equally disappointing when a majority of our elected representatives decided to ignore them.”

He continued “But this is only the beginning of our ambitions for community ownership of renewable energy in Hampshire. We will be encouraging EDF-ER to appeal against the decision;  we  are discussing a project to install a large solar system on the roof of a local college; and we are looking at other wind farm sites and at using waste to produce electricity”.

He also added “Many thanks to those councillors who listened to their voters; understood that the benefits outweighed the costs and voted for the wind farm”.

Hampshire Renewable Energy Co-op is owned by members of the local community. They plan to invest in renewable energy projects such as Bullington Cross. All the profits made will be re-invested in other community energy schemes in Hampshire and in helping reduce fuel poverty within the community. END

Open Letter to Planning committee

Dear Committee member,

Global warming is already upon on us.  We can no longer stand-by and do nothing.

On June 16th you will be asked to make a decision that will have an effect on us, our children and our grandchildren.  You will be asked to ban the community wind farm at Bullington Cross.  But this is a decision that must be made in light of all the available evidence and a decision that weighs all the benefits against the costs.

You have received a 161 page officer’s report on the costs of the Bullington Cross Wind Farm.

It concludes that the planning application for a community wind farm should be refused.  Yet the report does not fully address the benefits the wind farm will bring to both our local community and to the wider environment.

In short the report is one-sided, short-sighted and subjective.

Our local responsibilities

Our government has made it clear that as a nation we need to reduce our carbon emissions by 20% by 2020; to do this we need to produce 30% of our electricity from low carbon and renewable sources.  We in Winchester, Basingstoke and Test Valley are falling woefully short of our target. Today less than 2% of our energy is from local renewable sources.

It is only fair and just that we in Basingstoke, Test Valley and Winchester do “our bit” to reduce the impact we all have on our environment. We have that responsibility to ourselves and to future generations.

The benefits are significant

Wind farms are quiet, efficient, inexpensive  and clean.

Wind farms do not emit Nitrous and Sulphur Dioxide, which destroy plant life. They do not produce soot, particulate matter or fly ash; which blackens our lungs. Wind farms do not burn imported and expensive coal, gas and oil that creates the Carbon Dioxide which is warming our planet. They do not release radioactive materials.

These are points that are well understood and accepted by all three councils.  All have policies in place to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, to encourage the development of renewables and to reduce the chances of catastrophic global warming.

The benefits are local

The benefits are clear and they accrue to the local community. The wind farm will;

  1. Be in partial community ownership and will deliver over £4 million in cash that will be invested in local renewable energy projects and in reducing the impact of fuel poverty in our community.
  2. Reduce the massive £1 billion a year we spend on fossil fuelled energy.
  3. Create local jobs.
  4. Provide enough electricity to power 15,100 (or 8%) of our homes.
  5. Reduce our carbon footprint by 26,000 tonnes a year.
  6. Provide more than £5 million in additional rates over its life time.

Wind farms are popular

Our community owned wind farm is popular.  2,845 people have submitted supporting comments as part of the planning process.  The vast majority of these supporters live in our local community.  As far as we know this level of support is unprecedented for any wind farm application in the UK.  Seventy percent of the UK population want on-shore wind farms.

We need action; not excuses

Our planners have produced a report that does not balance the costs against the benefits.  It gives seven main reasons why we should sit on our hands and discard the benefits of wind farming and ignore the threats of global warming.

  1. It says there is not enough evidence on the ecology. The  RSPB have no objection to the farm. At the council’s own request a full EIA was completed.  Any ecological damage can be mitigated. The biggest threat to our ecology is global warming and flooding.
  2. It says we should do nothing because of heritage. English Heritage has no objections and concludes all major effects are “mitigatable”.   The site is at the cross roads of two of the county’s busiest roads. This is not a heritage site.  The nearest village is 3kms away.
  3. They say the turbines look ugly.  This is a purely subjective view.  Most of us think they are acceptable.  Many think they are beautiful. Indeed it is a dangerous road to travel if we decide we must ban anything that is deemed ugly by planning officials.
  4. It says we should do nothing because of landscape amenity. Yet according to our planners this is an area that is heavily used by low flying military aircraft. It surely cannot be both. The biggest threat to our landscape is global warming.
  5. It says that there is a danger to aviation; yet neither the CAA nor NATS objects. The council’s own commissioned report on aviation concludes there will be no adverse effect on flying.
  6. It says that it will interfere with low flying.  The report does not point out that the Southern England low flying area covers 12,500 sq kilometres.  Bullington Cross will deprive the military of just 4.42 sq km (or 0.03%) of this area. A small price to pay.
  7. It says the wind farm may interfere with MOD radars. It will. But this can be mitigated.  The developers have agreed to do this as a condition of gaining planning consent.

We need an informed decision. We need a brave decision.

Planning decisions are never easy.  But they need to be based on a balanced representation of the facts.

The report before you has not balanced the costs with the benefits; it has only given reasons to do nothing; it has not provided us with the reasons why we must act. And why we must act now.

Wind farms are not perfect. But we need to act fairly and equitably and ensure we do what is required to produce the renewable energy we need. And we need to ensure that the benefits of renewable energy projects are shared with local communities.

Coming up with reasons to ban community owned renewable energy is not how a responsible council should act; making decisions based on partial evidence is wrong.

Councillors – we have a very simple choice in North Hampshire.  On the one hand we can generate our electricity from clean renewable modern technology or, on the other. we can continue to rely on dirty, expensive and imported fossil fuels.

The choice is yours.

Yours sincerely

Martin Heath

On behalf of Hampshire Renewable Energy Co-operative Ltd

 

Climate Change Factor Forty

Some of us were fortunate enough to be at the Climate Change presentation at the Café Scientifique in Basingstoke on Monday 19th May.

Professor John Shepherd (from National Oceanography Centre at University of Southampton) gave a talk that would have thoroughly depressed many people. In fact he said that if we didn’t leave the room glum and miserable, then he would have failed.

He certainly didn’t fail. A presentation packed full of scientific evidence that Climate Change is a reality, that it is here to stay and that sadly increases in the Earth’s temperature are inevitable.

melting earth

We’ve added a copy of his Climate Change Factor Forty 2013 presentation here for you.

 

Some key quotes we took from the evening are

“the world is getting warmer, there is no longer any serious doubt about that, and the changes this will lead to may be greater than we think”

“evidence from the past suggests that climate change is unlikely to be gradual and steady”

“there is a rapid and irreversible change in the state of the planet”

“natural changes in planet temperatures does not mean we should do nothing”

“of all the scientific studies it’s clear that Humans are the most unpredictable aspect of our future”

“the climate system is now very sensitive to small changes which we don’t yet fully understand”

“the evidence for human influence is very strong indeed, possibly as much as 90% of carbon emissions is man made”

“combustion of fossil fuels is definitely the largest single cause of climate change”

“we need to get a handle on this problem and do as much as we can possibly do, as fast as we can stand”

“local action is essential”

and last but not least – our favourite quote of the evening was

“VISUAL IMPACT IS NOT THE BIGGEST ISSUE HERE – CLIMATE CHANGE IS”

 

wind_turbines_landscape_visual_impact

Professor Shepherd suggests the following actions:

  • Make energy more efficient – ie renewables
  • Decarbonise the electricity supply – ie renewables
  • Conserve energy
  • Don’t forget about carbon capture and storage
  • Educate the public to make changes
  • Policy changes are needed at Governmental levels
  • Economic incentives / carbon taxes are needed to steer everyone in right direction
  • Never forget that delaying action will only make it harder

 

Our thanks to Professor John Shepherd for a fascinating presentation that totally reinforces our need to work together to put renewable energy on the map in Hampshire

 

Calender of Events until Planning Decision

Below you can learn about what events we have planned for the next five weeks in the run up to the planning decision on the 16th June.

Event calender advert

Time is running out, so come along to one of the events and help spread the word and collect those valuable signatures.

To join us and raise support for community renewable energy then email us at alan.walker@hampshire-energy.coop telling us where and when you would like to help.