Ammo dump fears at wind farm site

AMMUNITION left over from the Second World War could be buried on the site of a proposed wind farm, according to a document drawn up by the local parish council.

AMMUNITION left over from the Second World War could be buried on the site of a proposed wind farm, according to a document drawn up by the local parish council.

The document, sent to district planners by Parham Parish Council, lists all the concerns that have been raised in response to Ipswich-based Saxon Windpower's scheme to put up six 100-metre turbines on the former wartime airfield on the edge of the village.

The concerns include the size and number of turbines, whether pylons will also be erected, lorry movements, noise, damage to the landscape and wildlife and the impact on property prices.

They also include worries that the proposed turbines will affect telephones, televisions and internet links and visitors to the airfield museum set up in memory of the 390th Bomb Group stationed at Parham during the Second World War.

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However, the document, which is aimed at setting the scope for a formal environmental impact assessment, also suggests there could be two underground threats - the airfield's old drainage system, which is still thought to be in use, and wartime munitions.

"Local knowledge indicates the possibility of buried ammunition left after the Second World War," it says.

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The possibility of unexploded bombs lying underground was also raised in the successful fight against plans for a wind farm at St James South Elmham, on the edge of another wartime US air base, at Metfield.

A separate document drawn up by a community group fighting plans for the Parham wind farm calls for a range of issues to be examined as part of the environmental impact assessment.

No Windfarm at Parham (NOWAP), set up by residents of several villages, believes studies should include the likely impact on views from the most "sensitive" local homes - from inside rooms and gardens and from the general locality.

It wants a map produced showing the locations from which the turbines could be seen within a 20-kilometre radius of the proposed site.

NOWAP is calling for a full assessment of the impact of the wind farm on roads carrying construction traffic and how difficult parts of the route will be negotiated.

It also wants an analysis of potential problems such as shadow flicker" and "light glint" from the turbine blades and believes studies of noise and wildlife impact should be carried out over a long period.

Further studies being called for by NOWAP include the possible impact on local property prices and tourism.

"Claims of any local energy benefits should be scrupulously accurate and justifiable. Financial contributions or offers in kind to the community or interest groups should be avoided and considered as potential factors which might prevent a fair, open and independent decision being reached," the document adds.

Bill Richmond, spokesman for Saxon Windpower, said some of the perceived threats to the locality could be discounted with only a cursory examination but the company would carry out whatever studies the district council required.

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