Rudston

Summary

Rudston Parish Council carried out a consultation in May 2012 to determine the parish’s views on potential wind turbine developments close to the village. A total of 98 forms were received by the deadline, representing just under one third of the village residents eligible to return a form; less than 10% were from those aged under 41.

Of those who attended the Parish Meeting prior to the survey, 75% thought that it was useful.

Overall, the village is negative about wind turbine developments close to the village, with 40% negative, 27% neutral and 33% positive. Looking at the data more closely, the only form of wind turbine development that has any significant general support is for single small turbines sited on farms. There was a majority view that wind turbines are not attractive and are over-subsidised.

Finally, offers of compensation only appear to change people’s views if they have a neutral view overall. In this case, people might change their views if there was: better consultation; new jobs created in the village; the village is given a share of revenue; the village is given free electricity.

Background

Rudston Parish Council carried out a consultation to determine the views of the people living in the parish about wind turbine developments potentially affecting the parish.

The consultation started with a Parish Meeting on 22 May 2012 at the Village Hall. This consisted of a series of statements from local wind turbine developers or their agents; groups who are anti wind turbines on the Wolds; and East Riding of Yorkshire Planning Department, followed by a question and answer session.

Following the meeting, survey forms were distributed to all houses in the village. Anyone aged 16 or over and living in the village could complete the form and return it to their Parish Councillor or they could complete the survey online.

The results of the survey are published with the July/August issue of the Rudston Newsletter. A pdf version of this analysis is available for download by clicking here.

Analysis

A total of 98 forms were received representing approximately 29% of the 333 residents registered on the electoral roll. This figure is approximate as the electoral roll does not include all young people aged between 16 and 18, nor does it account for people who have moved to or from the village since November 2011. There were very few responses from people under the age of 40. Whilst this reflects the age profile of the village to some extent, it is unfortunate that the younger people in the village have not engaged with the survey.

  Not helpful Neutral Helpful
Wind Prospects 35.5% 29% 35.5%
Earthmill 19% 37% 44%
George F White 22% 31% 47%
Southwold Wind Farm 34% 38% 28%
Wolds Against Wind Turbines 28% 31% 41%
Councillor Fraser 16% 22% 62%
Q&A 18% 24% 58%

The meeting on 22 May was attended by 33% of the people who responded. The meeting was considered to be useful or very useful by 75% of them. In terms of the content of the meeting (the speakers and the Q&A) the results are summarised in the table. Note that East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Planning Department spending time explaining their decisions, and the policies that drive them, was appreciated most.

As a whole, the village is negative about wind turbines being sited in the parish, but this is not true for single small wind turbines sited on a farm, where there are more people positive than negative.

  Negative Neutral Positive Difference
Attitude to onshore wind turbine developments in general 40% 27% 33% -7%
Large scale wind farm, e.g. Lissett 65% 11% 24% -41%
Medium scale wind farm, e.g. two or more medium size turbines 58% 9% 33% -25%
Small scale, e.g. single small turbine on a farm outside the village 29% 21% 50% +21%
Small wind turbine at a house in the village 41% 25% 34% -7%

This suggests that single small turbine installations, sited carefully, would be acceptable to the village as a whole, but that the installation of medium and large sites of any kind will not be.

When it comes to the need for wind turbines, there is significant negativity about the attractiveness and cost to the general public of wind turbines. The village is split evenly on whether they are needed for national power generation.

  Disagree Neutral Agree Difference
Are attractive 50% 26% 24% -26%
Needed for national power generation 42% 15% 43% +1%
Over subsidised and a burden on tax payers and electricity bills 26% 29% 45% -19%
Opportunity for a community enterprise for Rudston 38% 32% 30% -8%

The final section looked at whether compensation (or bribes as some people commented) would change people’s views.

Looking at the overall figures, it would seem that the most effective forms of compensation might be: creating new jobs in the village; giving the village a share of revenue; or giving the village free electricity.

  More negative No difference More positive
Made significant efforts to consult with, and address the issues of, local residents in advance of making a planning application? 27% 41% 32%
Made a financial or in kind contribution to village projects? 31% 39% 30%
Made a financial or in kind contribution to village projects commensurate with the amount paid to landowners? 27% 40% 33%
Created new jobs in the village? 21% 42% 37%
Gave the village a share in the development (e.g. %age of revenue)? 21% 42% 37%
Gave free electricity to everyone in the village? 21% 35% 44%

However, a closer look at the data shows that those who are against wind turbines in general, would become more negative if compensation of any kind was offered; those who are in favour of wind turbines in general, would become more positive if compensation of any kind was offered. Looking at the results from people who are neutral overall, i.e. those that do not have views that are already fixed, we get the following:

  More negative No Difference More positive
Made significant efforts to consult with, and address the issues of, local residents in advance of making a planning application? 11% 39% 50%
Made a financial or in kind contribution to village projects? 26% 48% 26%
Made a financial or in kind contribution to village projects commensurate with the amount paid to landowners? 11% 56% 33%
Created new jobs in the village? 7% 52% 41%
Gave the village a share in the development (e.g. %age of revenue)? 7% 45% 48%
Gave free electricity to everyone in the village? 7% 33% 60%

These figures show a similar, but much stronger, result to the overall figures. Initially neutral people would appear to see significant consultation & compensation as a way to make them more positive. However, note that the “standard” approach of offering small amounts of compensation (relative to landowners returns) would only increase the divide in views, by reducing the number of neutral people and increasing both the positive & negative camps.