Fears voiced after turbine go-ahead

FEARS have been voiced of a precedent being set after a giant wind turbine was given the go-ahead in the heart of the Suffolk countryside despite fierce opposition.

Hollywood composer Trevor Jones tabled a planning application to install the 18m tall structure at his home in Low Road, Dennington, near Framlingham. The scheme has now been given the go-ahead by Suffolk Coastal District Council, subject to a number of conditions.

The decision has caused outrage within the local community, who say their objections were ignored by the north area development control sub-committee.

They also fear it has set a precedent for other such developments, a claim strongly denied by the district council.

The authority received 14 letters of objection from worried residents, and Dennington Parish Council and Suffolk Preservation Society also raised concerns with regards to noise, proximity to a listed building and the height and scale of the turbine in open countryside.

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Last night local resident Michael Cole said: “When the rotors are included it will be 80ft high.

“A precedent has been set by this committee ’s woeful decision. Everyone can now apply with confidence to erect a wind turbine without regard to the their neighbours’ feelings.

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“Where we live is a pleasant, rolling valley that hasn’t changed much in 300 years; a typical bit of Suffolk. It is valued for its peace, quiet and unsullied character. It is goodbye to all that now.

“Who is going to remove the turbine in a few years time when the fashion changes? By then it will be standing rusty and creaking, as a constant reminder of how elected councillors let down local people in a shameful negation of democracy.”

Robert Rous, who lives in the property next to Mr Jones and is vice chairman of Dennington Parish Council, added: “The committee completely disregarded the views of the community.

“It makes a complete nonsense of local democracy. What on earth is the point of having a parish council if it is ignored?”

Mr Jones has composed music for many films including Notting Hill, The Last of the Mohicans and Mississippi Burning.

The 133 Gaia turbine is claimed to be the quietest on the market and will be installed by Suffolk-based company Ecoexel.

Last night Ecoexel owner, Charles Dearlove, declined to comment on behalf of his client.

The turbine was given the go-ahead subject to a number of strict conditions relating to bat mitigation, noise, construction method and decommissioning and removal when no longer required, which the district council claim will help minimise any impacts on the local community.

A spokeswoman said they had followed national guidance encouraging renewable technologies.

“We recognise that there may be visual impacts to the community but largely because of the national planning guidelines it was recommended for approval,” she said.

“This application has by no means set a precedent for similar proposals. Each case is examined in detail and decided on individual merit.”

Earlier this year a report prepared for the county council showed that Suffolk was falling behind the rest of the region in fulfilling its onshore renewable energy quota.

Adam Bell, national campaign co-ordinator for Renewable UK, urged people to keep an open mind to the idea of more wind turbines in the county.

“There remains a significant problem gaining planning approval,” he said. “We are trying to encourage the 80% of people who support wind energy to speak up.

“When the turbines are built most people find they are not the monsters they thought they were.”


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