Campaingers step up wind farm fight
RESIDENTS opposed to a large wind farm being built on a former airfield in north Suffolk are stepping up their campaign.Villagers Against Inappropriate Turbine Sitings (VAITS) have now formed a steering committee to help plan its opposition to a £20 million wind farm being built on the old Metfield Airfield at St James South Elmham, between Halesworth and Bungay.
RESIDENTS opposed to a large wind farm being built on a former airfield in north Suffolk are stepping up their campaign.
Villagers Against Inappropriate Turbine Sitings (VAITS) have now formed a steering committee to help plan its opposition to a £20 million wind farm being built on the old Metfield Airfield at St James South Elmham, between Halesworth and Bungay.
A meeting held at St James South Elmham village hall on Thursday was attended by 43 people living in St James, All Saints, Rumburgh, Chediston and Linstead.
There were also representatives from Withersdale Street and Metfield who were concerned about the transport implications as they are likely to be on the route used by vehicles travelling to and from the proposed wind farm.
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Committee vice-chairman Jane Bastow said residents were anxious to show they were not against renewable energy but did not feel that the proposed wind farm was the way forward.
"We appreciate the Government has set targets on the use of renewable energy but we think there are better ways this can be achieved.
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"Our campaign will not only point out why we think that this wind farm should not be built here but will focus on the positive aspect of encouraging the best use of alternative energy," she said.
A fund-raising event being held at The Laburnums, St James South Elmham, tomorrowwill help the campaign fund its plans.
A ploughman's lunch and barbecue, together with stalls and a raffle are being held from 10am to 3pm with the funds raised being split evenly between the VAITS campaign and St James Village Hall.
"We have been very open about this and everyone knows that the event is for VAITS as well as the village hall.
"There has been a great deal of support for the event and we have received some tremendous raffle prizes from local companies and individuals," said Mrs Bastow.
In the coming weeks and months VAITS supporters will carry out further research into how best Government targets on renewable energy can be met.
The group points out that in Denmark wind farms have not been as successful in producing enough renewable energy as first hoped.
"We believe there are lessons to be learnt from Denmark and will encourage existing power stations to be converted rather than build these giant wind farms in the countryside," said Mrs Bastow.
Local residents opposed to the project are concerned about the impact the wind farm will have on the environment, its impact on wildlife and the noise generated by the giant turbines.
Ipswich-based Saxon Windpower has unveiled plans to build up to ten 328ft turbines in St James South Elmham and the firm is offering protesters the chance to visit one of its existing wind farms at Outnewton, near Hull, to see how quietly it operates.
The company has yet to decide if it will make a formal planning application.
Meanwhile Waveney Green Party is encouraging local residents to wait and see the detailed plans before making up their minds.