Action group formed to fight wind farm
WORRIED villagers voiced their fears at a public meeting last night over plans to build a wind farm on a World War Two airfield in Suffolk.There was standing room only as more than 110 residents met at Great Glemham, near Framlingham, to discuss the effect on surrounding areas if the development at Parham Airfield goes ahead.
By Sarah Chambers
WORRIED villagers voiced their fears at a public meeting last night over plans to build a wind farm on a World War Two airfield in Suffolk.
There was standing room only as more than 110 residents met at Great Glemham, near Framlingham, to discuss the effect on surrounding areas if the development at Parham Airfield goes ahead.
They raised fears about the noise it would produce, the effect on house prices and the visual impact of the large structures.
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Saxon Windpower, based at Ipswich, has proposals to build up to six 100 metre high turbines on the site to generate energy for up to 6,770 homes.
The company has decided to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment of the site, which is needed for any future planning application. Any actual planning application is unlikely to be submitted for some months.
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People travelled as far as Woodbridge and Framlingham to attend the meeting. As well as Great Glemham, the meeting included residents of Parham, Marlesford, Stratford St Andrews, Sweffling and Bruisyard.
A large number of villagers supported the setting up of an action group, and signed up at the end of the meeting.
The group, called No Windfarm At Parham, or NOWAP, carries the slogan "Offshore Not Onshore".
A petition was also circulated opposing the plans.
Meeting organisers John Constable and Jason Gathorne-Hardy started the discussion, and raised a range of concerns.
Mr Constable said he was not against renewable energy, but said the Parham wind farm proposal was "inappropriately sited".
There was also controversy about a private meeting due to be held tonight at the same venue to which local councillors and the company were invited.
Mr Gathorne-Hardy said he had argued it should be open to the public, but Michael Gray, chairman of Parham Parish Council, who was at last night's meeting, said it had been organised privately by himself, and was not a parish council meeting.
One woman claimed she had already been advised by an estate agent that the value of her property had fallen as a result of the news about the proposed wind farm.
Another said of the turbines: "They are huge, and they are an eyesore".
One villager claimed: "There's going to be this constant droning at the time which will actually erode our physical health and our quality of life."
There were concerns raised that any wind farm might be expanded in future.
"Once you've got it you can't turn the clock back. It's very difficult to resist expansion," a resident warned.
Although many spoke against the plans, one man said: "There seems to be an assumption that everyone's against it. I'm not against it."