Mast plans set for approval

PLANS to build a 50-metre temporary mast at a proposed site for a wind farm near Halesworth have been recommended for approval by planners.Saxon Windpower has applied to put up an anemometry mast - which measures wind speed and direction at various heights - at Park Farm, St James South Elmham for a two-year period.

PLANS to build a 50-metre temporary mast at a proposed site for a wind farm near Halesworth have been recommended for approval by planners.

Saxon Windpower has applied to put up an anemometry mast - which measures wind speed and direction at various heights - at Park Farm, St James South Elmham for a two-year period.

Protest group Villagers Against Inappropriate Turbine Sitings (VAITS) will fight the proposal before Waveney District Council's rural area development control committee decides the issue on October 1.

John Fairlie, senior development manager of Saxon Windpower, said: “This proposal does not mean a wind farm will follow.


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“The mast is for investigation purposes. We know there is enough wind but we need to know exactly how much wind there is.

“If a wind farm is not developed on the site, we still can use the figures as a reference point elsewhere.”

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Jane Bastow, spokesman for VAITS and St James resident, said: “Of course this is the start of everything - Saxon Windpower refers to it as a temporary mast yet it's going up for two years.

“It is also only half the height of the proposed turbines so we will be asking what sort of job is it going to do?”

Four anchors will be dug into the ground to hold up the 14cm diameter steel mast.

No permanent power supply or cabling is required and Saxon Windpower will download data via a mobile phone.

Meanwhile, Linstead Magna, Linstead Parva and Chediston Parish Council agreed this week to postpone its decision on whether or not to support the plans for the ten-turbine wind farm until October 13.

Chairman Steven Burroughes said: “I think people do not know enough about the subject to make an informed decision. We are going to try and research it in a bit more detail.”

VAITS has researched into renewable energy and suggested that biomass - the burning of agricultural waste - would be a suitable alternative to wind power on the former Metfield airfield.

However, Saxon Windpower director Bill Richmond said in his experience of developing biomass projects residents have issues with traffic, the plant's appearance, the very tall chimney and the smoke emissions.

He said: “It might look better at first glance, but the reality can be controversial once it is proposed.”

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