A public backlash against the government's refusal to allow construction of a wind farm at Whinash in Cumbria reveals that rejecting wind energy is not the way to curry popular opinion. Energy minister Malcolm Wicks' decision followed the advice of planning inspector David Rose who, after a high-profile seven week public inquiry, recommended refusing consent for the 27 turbine project which would have been sited on high moor land next to the M6 Motorway. Wicks said: "On this occasion we agree with the independent inspector that the impact on the landscape and recreation would outweigh the benefits in terms of reducing carbon emissions." Green groups are outraged. Tony Juniper of Friends of the Earth is "appalled" by the decision. "The ministers who decided this should be ashamed," he says. Stephen Tindale of Greenpeace adds: "Any government that wants to expand airports and turn down wind farms is not fit to govern." But perhaps the most surprising reaction is the public's response on a BBC news forum. No less that 1665 comments were posted on the BBC's website, the majority of them in favour of wind farms and accusing the government of giving in to the selfish few concerned about the view from their back yard.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol