cpre hampshire logo online 257x79

Skip to navigation

Renewable energy

Renewables must respect the landscape they will help protect Renewables must respect the landscape they will help protect Photo: © CPRE

CPRE recognises that renewable energy has an important role to play in future energy needs. It helps to increase security and diversity of energy supply, and to meet national targets for use of renewable energy and reduction in greenhouse gases.

However, being large industrial machines, wind turbines can cause serious harm to natural beauty, landscape character and quality, mar views from public rights of way and access land, reduce tranquillity, and take away dark skies at night where fitted with aviation safety lights.

Due to their height and colour, large wind turbines cannot be disguised in the landscape, and the movement of blades tends to draw the eye, even from a distance. CPRE Hampshire considers they are not appropriate within National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, being areas designated at national level for their natural beauty and landscape quality. Elsewhere, each application will be judged on its merits in the context of the landscape and visual impacts, including any impact on views from National Parks or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We will make use of landscape character assessments, the developer's landscape and visual impact assessment, and our own experience and judgment.

Average wind speeds in Hampshire are significantly lower than in windier areas of the country and so, when combined with intermittency of the wind, less than a quarter of the developer's stated output can be expected when in operation, and this is a limitation on the benefit of wind turbines which we will take into account in deciding our response to applications. The tendency is to object to them.

Government policy for solar panels is to prefer the use of brownfield sites and the roofs of large commercial and industrial buildings over green fields in the countryside; and also to avoid the use of good quality agricultural land policy (Grade 3a and above), which should be used for food production. We wholly support these policies. However, applications for solar farms in the countryside continue to come forward, some very large. We will judge these on their impacts on landscape character and views from publicly accessible vantage points, taking into account security fencing, ancillary buildings, lighting, and pylons, as well as the panels themselves. Solar farms can be acceptable in landscape terms if they are well located and screened, in which case we will not object to them. 

join us

Twitter feed

Back to top