Wind farms blight landscape says duke

One of the country's major landowners has launched an attack on wind farms saying they blight beautiful scenery yet make "minimal contribution" to our energy needs.

One of the country's major landowners has launched an attack on wind farms saying they blight beautiful scenery yet make "minimal contribution" to our energy needs.

The Duke of Northumberland, owner of around 100,000 acres and with a family fortune of around £300m, said he had repeatedly turned down bids by the wind power industry to erect turbines on his land. He spoke out in the letters' pages of The Journal newspaper, after a correspondent urged him to join the debate.

Despite opposition from campaigners, two wind farms close to the Duke's 700-year-old family seat in Alnwick, Northumberland, have been granted planning permission, but work has yet to begin on the sites.

The Duke explained in his letter he had remained silent on the issue because he did not want to be accused of double standards, as he and his forebears had developed mines, quarries, supermarkets and homes which had at times drawn local criticism.

But he had always privately opposed wind farms and wrote to let councillors know his thoughts. “I have studied the debate, arguments and statistics and come to the personal conclusion that wind farms divide communities, ruin landscapes, affect tourism, make a minimal contribution to our energy needs and a negligible contribution towards reducing carbon dioxide emissions,” he said. "The landowner and developer are enriched, while the consumer is impoverished by higher energy costs.

"Turbines are ugly, noisy and completely out of place in our beautiful, historic landscape."

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