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Ipswich/Belstead: Partial victory for turbine protesters

PUBLISHED: 09:00 28 September 2013

New wind turbines in Eye, Suffolk. The two turbines have been erected on Eye Airfield Industrial Site.

New wind turbines in Eye, Suffolk. The two turbines have been erected on Eye Airfield Industrial Site.

Archant

Campaigners against proposals for a pair of wind turbines on the southern edge of Ipswich are celebrating a partial victory.

The turbine nearest the town, on land owned by the borough council just in Babergh district, has been dropped from the plans by Partnerships for Renewables (PfR).

However the company still plans to go ahead with a second turbine at Pannington Hall – next to Jimmy’s Farm – at Wherstead.

Jenny Mills from the Stop Ipswich Turbines (SIT) group was pleased the Belstead proposal had been dropped – but said the campaign would continue.

“The turbine at Pannington Hall will still be very intrusive on the landscape – people won’t want to use the footpaths and bridleways around there.”

She said the noise and flicker would still affect some properties. “It will be 130 metres tall. That is very large. It will dominate the area, the campaign goes on.”

However Ipswich councillor Nadia Cenci who led the campaign against the turbines on the borough said she felt her work had been done.

“It was the turbine at Belstead that would have affected people in Stoke Park (her ward) which was my concern – I celebrated when I heard this news. It is what we were fighting for.”

She said the battle at Pannington Hall was for people living in Wherstead, but there did not appear to be a great deal of concern there.

Colm Ryan of PfR said there was no question of the company re-examining the proposal for a turbine at Belstead – the agreement with the borough would fall away at the end of the year.

He added: “PfR will be making a planning application for one single wind turbine of up to 130m maximum tip height on the Pannington Farm land, with access from the Street at the existing field entrance.

“We expect to be making our planning application for the single turbine towards the end of November. The project will now be renamed as the Pannington Farm Wind Turbine.”

He hoped the turbine could become operational in 2015. It would generate enough electricity to supply up to approximately 1,280 households.

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere pointed out that it was the previous Conservative administration which had signed the agreement for the turbine.

He added: “We were urged to pull out of the deal which could have incurred penalties for breaking the contract running into many thousands of pounds.

“We now have the result that campaigners wanted without costing the borough anything.”

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