TOMORROW (Tuesday, November 23), Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s climate change members’ advisory group will be discussing green policies, preparing them for inclusion in the local plan - but an increase in wind farms is unlikely to be on the agenda.

One hot topic is renewable energy, something which has become an increasing priority for authorities across the country in recent years.

Historically, the council has supported solar panels and solar farms, dealing with them on a case-by-case basis, but has received criticism for its seeming lack of enthusiasm for wind turbine proposals.

Explaining the rationale, Cllr Mark Ruffell, member for the natural environment and climate improvement, told the Gazette: “It’s not straightforward in our borough. There is a split in the green lobby - [for example] many of them say allow as many solar panels as possible, others disagree.

“I am not keen on wind [power], the reason being that we have very few points in the borough where we can put wind turbines safely.”

Cllr Ruffell said that previously proposed sites had barriers to them, including being “just short of the Hannington mast”, in the flight path of Chinook, or not far from the take off areas of Popham, Lasham and Farnborough airfields.

“And we don’t get much wind!” he added.

“Wind generated is not for me. I think it will come forward for discussion, but I don’t see it as a solution to our energy needs, to stick up wind turbines in the borough.”

Talking about solar energy, Cllr Ruffell added that “balance” is needed, saying: “In the short term, they may be of some assistance with getting the grid green, but in the long-term there would be issues. At this time of year, it would be too gloomy! I’m not in favour of fields and fields of our beautiful landscape being used for solar farms.”

He added: “Nuclear is going to be the biggest thing that is going to replace coal.”