Bede MacGowan: Council using its power to get a grip on green energy facts
WELL, what better time to announce an investigation into renewable energy than in a week of storms and powerful tree-felling gales.
The district council deserves credit for launching its inquiry into the impact of wind turbines and larger-scale solar farms on the Mendip area.
A better understanding of the issues at stake can only benefit those it represents when making decisions on such controversial matters.
As fossil fuel supplies dwindle, renewable energy and where to get it from will increasingly be on both the local and national agenda.
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Of course, some may suggest it's a little overdue given that the authority has already ruled on a number of such applications, but at least it is now making this effort to get a full handle on the facts.
Letters received in some number by this newspaper over recent months illustrate just how much this issue can split opinion.
One thing is certain – the Mendips are a beautiful asset not only for the enjoyment of this region's inhabitants but vital also to its very future as a tourist destination.
Any development that could jeopardise this in any way must be carefully considered, and only when the benefits clearly outweigh the cons be allowed.
Interested parties now have an ideal opportunity to ensure they make their voices heard on this issue. Don't let it slip through your fingers.