The proposal to erect a meteorological mast on the site of the proposed Newmiln “Wind Park” was met with 243 comments, 242 of them objections. The level of public opposition would have resulted in the proposal being referred to the Development Management Committee. The response was for Ecotricity to withdraw their application and resubmit for a higher mast! Suddenly the 242 objections were neatly sidestepped and the outpouring of public objection to the proposal rendered mute. Yes, Ecotricity know the planning system and will play it to their favour at every possible opportunity.

I can understand the logic of the system when a resubmission is radically different. If your neighbour is planning a 2 storey extension which will overlook your garden, but subsequently withdraws the application and resubmits for a single storey extension with no windows overlooking you then there is a very high chance that your objections will no longer be valid. In such cases removing earlier objections from consideration seems to be fair and proper. If however the resubmission was not substantially different then I see no reason why earlier objections should be swept aside so easily. In fact a resubmission which is almost identical should be treated as a revision to the original submission, not an entirely new proposal. That such a loophole exists and is used by wind farm developers on such a regular basis does seem a little ridiculous in 2012.

One of the main features of presentations from Ecotricity about their proposal is that they are a company which is committed to being open and honest. They cling to the nobleness of their cause, their website talking about saving the planet and using money you pay them to build more wind parks. Nowhere does it mention the enormous subsidies you are already paying them or the fact that they are a business committed to making a healthy profit. Such advertising is commonplace and not unexpected, but for a company that claims such high ideals (“We do all this in pursuit of our vision for a Green Britain“), how does their apparent blatant manipulation of the planning system fit within those ideals?