Clare: Delight as wind turbine plans pulled by BT

PROPOSALS for a controversial wind turbine scheme close to a Suffolk village have been scrapped, BT has confirmed tonight.

The telecommunications giant was planning to construct three 100m turbines at Clare, near Sudbury, a scaled-down version of its original six-turbine vision for the site.

Local representatives, and campaigners who had strongly opposed the scheme, were given the news they had been seeking when BT said that after carrying out extensive testing at the site, it was not “viable” for a wind project.

West Suffolk MP Matthew Hancock said the announcement was a vindication of the tireless efforts of campaigners.

He said the decision also had “significant implications” for a second wind turbine bid in the area by West Coast Energy.

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“I am delighted that this inappropriate proposal has been withdrawn and very pleased that BT have finally seen the light of day,” said Mr Hancock.

“It is a pity that they did not listen over a year ago when it was made clear to them that this scheme was totally inappropriate.

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“Now I will put full pressure on West Coast Energy to withdraw their unsuitable nearby proposal.

“I will work closely with St Edmundsbury District Council to ensure that the Local Plan can put a stop to the threat of these proposals for good.”

Borough councillor Dorothy Whittaker, who represents the Hundon ward which includes nearby Stoke-by-Clare, said the news would make “a lot of people very happy.”

“The proposal site was very close to Stoke-by-Clare and through all of the contact that I had and the surveys that I did, the local people weren’t in favour of the wind farm in that place,” she said.

“There were very strong feelings.

“Had the proposal gone ahead it would have been very close to a lot of homes.”

BT spokesman Jason Mann confirmed that the plans, which had been part of the firm’s Wind For Change Programme aimed at meeting a quarter of its energy needs through turbines on land by 2016, had been withdrawn after extensive testing in the area.

“After extended wind monitoring and analysis we have concluded that there is not sufficient wind resources necessary to make a future wind project viable at this location and therefore we will not be progressing with the planned development,” he said.

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