Landowner "shunned and vilified"
A LANDOWNER claims she has been "shunned and vilified" in her home village over plans to build a six-turbine wind farm on her family's estate.But Kathleen Kindred, from Parham, near Framlingham, insisted she remained convinced of the benefits of the project, which has split opinions in the surrounding area.
By Sarah Chambers
A LANDOWNER claims she has been "shunned and vilified" in her home village over plans to build a six-turbine wind farm on her family's estate.
But Kathleen Kindred, from Parham, near Framlingham, insisted she remained convinced of the benefits of the project, which has split opinions in the surrounding area.
Mrs Kindred has written to Suffolk Coastal District Council to pledge her support for the proposal by Saxon Windpower to build six 100m turbines on the former Parham airfield site.
But she also told how her involvement in the proposals has led to her family being shunned by fellow villagers.
"I have been shunned and vilified for my part as joint land owner. But I feel I have no reason to be ashamed," she said.
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"I am not a scientist or an expert but when there is such a plentiful resource available it seems a pity not to harness the wind – safe, clean energy."
Mrs Kindred said people she had known in the village for years no longer spoke to them and other opponents of the windfarm plan looked at them "with hatred".
There was "a small minority of vocal people who are whipping up hysteria", she claimed.
She added the family had taken "a lot of flack" over the scheme, but decided to continue to acknowledge the minority of villagers who no longer spoke to them.
"We just wave the same as we always used to. They look down, or look away, or whatever," said Mrs Kindred.
The grandmother said some villagers were in favour of the scheme and added some people who were opposed continued to be sociable.
Initially, the family was "bombarded" with letters trying to persuade them not to go ahead with the proposals.
"We thought we would get hassle – we are not so naïve as to think we would just put it in and no hassle at all," she said. "It's just unpleasant, but nothing we can't deal with."
She said if the family thought that the wind farm posed any health hazard they would never have considered it.
"We live nearby, as do some of our employees, our children and grandchild," added Mrs Kindred.
"We certainly see less danger in the turbines that in the telephone masts that are on our neighbour's part of the airfield.
"Of course you will be able to see them [the turbines] from a distance but we can see Mendlesham mast and Sizewell power station from the airfield and to my knowledge this has never bothered anybody.
"We can also see pylons from miles away – the turbines are far more attractive and elegant than them."
Her husband, farmer Peter Kindred, said he had visited the turbines at Swaffham, Norfolk, on three occasions and by speaking to estate agents found there had been no long-term negative impact on property prices.
He is urging Suffolk Coastal District Council "to be forward-thinking and positive and recommend approval".
Mr Kindred added: "I still feel that none of our neighbours will be disadvantaged.
"The inevitable change in the landscape is purely subjective and many people consider wind turbines to be attractive. I can't think of many better sites in our district for a wind farm."
Opponents claim the wind turbines will cause noise pollution in the surrounding area and spoil the landscape, among other concerns.
The district council has received more than 200 letters on the proposals, with around three dozen in support and more than 160 against.
It is expected to consider the application within the next few months.