NIMBYs — the scourge of developers everywhere.

Now that it is their plans being foiled, environmentalists and other self-interested promoters of renewable energy are not too pleased. Yet, these are often the same folk who man the ramparts whenever a Wal-mart or other corporate icon attempts to set up in their neighbourhood.

What’s good for the goose

Buxton, who has been involved in legal action against at least eight wind schemes, says he himself is not opposed to wind power, but he is happy to justify his work on behalf of clients who oppose particular wind schemes. “I am fighting on behalf of individuals but also sometimes local authorities and NGOs to ensure that the law is properly implemented. Wind may or may not help with the nation’s needs, but we tend to find these things placed next door or too close to people’s houses. They are disproportionately annoyed for the amount of electricity that is produced,” he argues.


He is incensed by the suggestion from Vestas boss Ditlev Engel that wind opponents are being selfish and unreasonable. “I think that the charges of nimbyism are unfair. People see other people making large amounts of money from having wind farms on their land while the neighbours have to put up with the consequences without compensation.”

Buxton believes the government should introduce a national policy about where wind farms are placed and not leave all the decisions to private entrepreneurs and the local planning system. “If this is a national emergency and we need to put up 10,000 turbines, then let the government say it and act on it. Properties [close to wind farms] should be compulsorily purchased and the householders suitably compensated,” he argues.