Plan lodged for county's first wind farm

By Sarah ChambersA CONTROVERSIAL plan for what could become Suffolk's first wind farm project has finally been submitted.The long-awaited proposal from Saxon Windpower to build six 100m turbines at a site at Parham airfield, near Framlingham, was presented yesterday to Suffolk Coastal District Council.

By Sarah Chambers

A CONTROVERSIAL plan for what could become Suffolk's first wind farm project has finally been submitted.

The long-awaited proposal from Saxon Windpower to build six 100m turbines at a site at Parham airfield, near Framlingham, was presented yesterday to Suffolk Coastal District Council.

Saxon Windpower said the wind farm would produce enough electricity to power about 4,000 homes, more than 8% of the district's housing.


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But campaign group No Windfarm At Parham (NOWAP) feared the huge turbines would have an adverse impact on residents and vowed to oppose the scheme.

The plan for the wind farm was first announced towards the end of 2003 and Rob Edwards, director of Saxon Windpower, said: “We are delighted to have submitted this application and hope that, if consented, it will further cement Suffolk's continued drive to generate its own clean, green electricity.

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“The six 100m tall wind turbines at Parham Airfield will be the first 'wind farm' in Suffolk following hot on the heels of the recently-constructed 126m high single turbine in Lowestoft. The region seems to be fully embracing this sustainable culture.”

Saxon Windpower said every year that green electricity was generated by the project would offset more than 14,690 tonnes of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas associated with climate change.

It added the scheme would also bring jobs, particularly at the construction stage, and diversification of the farming economy.

But NOWAP claimed the proposal was “ill-advised” and “subsidy-hunting”. Its treasurer, David Inman, said: “We have been expecting this planning application for some time now and are fully prepared.

“This is a very poor site for a wind farm, much too close to residential dwellings, and with only a weak wind resource.”

He added: “These sorts of applications would not be happening if it were not for overly generous indirect subsidy, which accounts for 70% of the income of a wind power station and has recently been strongly criticised by the National Audit Office.

“The Parham proposal is a clear case of just how inappropriate onshore wind power can be. NOWAP will study this ill-advised, subsidy-hunting application in detail and draft its objection statement in due course.”

Colin Hart, the district councillor for Hacheston, whose ward include Parham, said: “This is a complex document, but the issue is a simple one - is the need for these monster turbines so great that it is worth permanently disfiguring the Suffolk landscape and threatening the quality of life of local residents?”

Ivan Jowers, chairman of the district council's development control committee, recommended that the public took the time to look at the special section on the plans on the council website, www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk.

“We are setting a closing date of Friday, April 23, for people to give their comments and these will then be presented to councillors when the application is discussed by the development control north sub-committee,” he added.

Planning officers will now begin to assess the application and will be taking into account comments from statutory consultees, town and parish councils and residents.

sarah.chambers@eadt.co.uk

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