Plea on wind farm consultation

By Sarah ChambersA CONSERVATION body with “major concerns” about the potential visual impact of a proposed wind farm has commissioned its own independent study.

By Sarah Chambers

A CONSERVATION body with “major concerns” about the potential visual impact of a proposed wind farm has commissioned its own independent study.

The Suffolk Preservation Society will use the findings of the study to help draw up its response to the controversial application by Saxon Windpower to build six 100m turbines at Parham Airfield.

The application is currently out to consultation and various bodies, including parish councils, are scrutinising it.


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The plan has already attracted vociferous opposition from a group of residents, who have set up a campaign group called No Windfarm At Parham to fight the application.

Richard Ward, director of Suffolk Preservation Society, said: “The main issue for us appears to be the impact on the landscape.

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“What we have decided to do is to commission our own independent assessment of its impact. Once we have received their report we will then formulate our response.”

The study, which will look at Saxon Windpower's assessment of the visual impact as well as assessing the surroundings first-hand, will be carried out by the Landscape Partnership, a Woodbridge-based practice of landscape architects and environmental consultants.

“We do have some major concerns about the potential impact of this proposal, both on the immediate landscape and views in and out of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty,” said Mr Ward.

“These things are so significant in size you have to go quite a distance before you lose their impact.”

Mr Ward added the society was hoping for an extension of the consultation period, which is due to end on April 23, until about the end of May to allow time for the study to be carried out and then assessed by members.

“This is such an important and major proposal that we all need time to look at it properly. We have asked formally for an extension and we are awaiting a reply. I understand it is being considered,” he said.

Mr Ward felt the outcome of the application, for what would be the first on-shore wind farm in Suffolk, would have repercussions.

“What happens here I think will set a precedent for others. That means it has to be looked at very carefully as well,” he said.

sarah.chambers@eadt.co.uk

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