Protestors' windfarm anger
CAMPAIGNERS have spoken of their horror at seeing a digger unexpectedly turn up at the site of a proposed massive windfarm development.The planning consent relating to the controversial Parham windfarm project - which would be Suffolk's first onshore site - is set to become the subject of a legal battle.
CAMPAIGNERS have spoken of their horror at seeing a digger unexpectedly turn up at the site of a proposed massive windfarm development.
The planning consent relating to the controversial Parham windfarm project - which would be Suffolk's first onshore site - is set to become the subject of a legal battle.
Your Energy Ltd want to build six 100 metre high wind turbines at Parham Airfield, near Framlingham.
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With the conditional planning consent due to run out today, a digger moved into the area over the weekend and a track appeared, infuriating residents who oppose the scheme.
Protestors from the No Windfarm At Parham (NOWAP) lobby group turned out at the airfield yesterday to show their local county councillor Colin Hart around the site.
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Dr John Constable, chairman of the 500 strong NOWAP group, said they were currently taking legal advise over what was happening.
“This is completely unacceptable, and, in our view, unlawful. We are taking legal advice, and look to Suffolk Coastal District Council to deal firmly with the matter.''
Aggregates began arriving in the area last week with work on a 100 yard track beginning after the digger arrived on Friday.
NOWAP opposes the controversial development on the grounds that houses in a previously peaceful and scenic area of the Suffolk countryside would be less than 500 metres away from giant wind turbines. They feel there is no logical reason why the turbines cannot harness the wind's energy out at sea.
Andrew Houseley, chairman of Parham Parish Council, which also opposes the development, said: “Many people were under the impression it was all over but that is not necessarily the way things work and the local community need to be steadfast and keep fighting.”
He added the parish council's aim now was to ensure the district council take the appropriate action and are well informed of the legal situation.
Bob Chamberlain, the principal planner for major projects at Suffolk Coastal District Council, has indicated in an email to parish councillors, seen by the EADT, that the matter has been referred to their solicitor.
He wrote: “I inspected the site earlier today and met with representatives of Your Energy along with the land owner. The works currently under way consist of widening and surfacing a track to the north of the muck heap (between the potential sites of turbines 3 to the west and turbine 4 to the south west). This involves scraping the present surface, removing topsoil, laying a geo-textile membrane and covering this with 300mm of coarse aggregate. The works are scheduled to finish next Tuesday.
“Your Energy claim that they are making a start on the development of the Wind Farm as set out in planning permission C05/0400. The company's reasoning was set out in a recent email to me.''
Mr Chamberlain said that he did not consider that development in accordance with the planning permission had commenced but the company's view is that it has made a technical start on the works in accordance with the planning permission.
“It will be a matter for the Council's Solicitor to advise the Head of Planning Services as to the legality or otherwise of the works that have been undertaken to date and that will be completed next week.”
Your Energy Ltd, the parent company of the developers, were unavailable for comment yesterday.