Opponents outrage BWEA over "goodwill payments"

The British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) has condemned as "outrageous" a claim by a countryside organisation that "goodwill payments" by wind farm developers are bringing the country's planning system into disrepute. The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) calls for an end to the community funds, which many developers establish in areas around operating wind farms as part of a good neighbour policy. CPRE criticises the funds, saying the sums are a fraction of developers' profits from wind farms and that they are being used to fund purposes that bear no relation to renewable energy. According to Charles Anglin at the BWEA, wind farm developers are "damned if they do, damned if they don't." He adds: "We recognise that wind farms are a long term presence in local communities and we want to give something back to those communities. That is in the best traditions of local community engagement." Anglin says that any implication that the funds are somehow an improper use of funds is "deeply inaccurate and ill-informed."