So you’ve heard about a wind farm proposal coming worryingly close to your village.
In fact the company, let’s call them Wind Power Corp., are planning on building 15 3MW turbine.
Each turbine will have a rotor length of 100 metres and will be placed within half a kilometre of your home as well as those of your neighbours. These turbines will be both within earshot and view of your home, meaning that you are almost guaranteed to suffer from noise pollution, with the chance of shadow flicker also affecting your home.
You can’t simply sit there and allow this development to go ahead, so you decide to organise a protest. Before you start investing in materials for picket signs and ‘Guy Fawks’ masks, take a look at the more practical things that you will need in order to successfully oppose this inappropriately placed wind farm.
You can’t win a battle such as this by yourself. If you want to convince the council to categorically oppose this proposal, then you’re going to have to get some help from your neighbours and friends.
Handing out leaflets and sticking up posters won’t cut it here, I’m afraid, the only way of galvanising your community is by getting out there and actually talking to people. Once you’ve won people over to your cause – then you can start fighting the good fight.
The next step in the process is to find legal help as soon as possible. The rules that govern the way councils and energy companies talk are complex. In order to pick apart the technical jargon and tricky statutes, you’re going to need the help of someone who understands them.
The more people you win over to your cause, the better chance you have of finding a connection that will lead you to free legal help. If the worse comes to worst then you’ll be able to club together and pay for a solicitor.
Above all else, this is the one virtue that you must share with every single one of your comrades. Although the construction of turbines can fly by in a flash, the planning process, thankfully, is a long, arduous process. Don’t be disheartened by your lack of progress – use this to your advantage.
As long as your legal counsel is keeping you well informed, you should be aware of the time frame of the project and how long you have to pull together a suitable proposal for opposition. Just be aware that these things take time.
It never hurts to know a man on the inside. Before you start your fire and brimstone campaign, consider that some of the members of the council that you’ll be petitioning to may well not agree with the development either.
A kindly worded letter/email goes a long way – find out who your councillors are and send them a note to test the waters. You’ll more than likely strike gold with at least one of them and end up winning a power ally.