Residents' concerns on wind farm plan

By Jenni DixonPROTESTERS opposed to a wind farm in St James South Elmham have raised concerns about how the 10 328ft wind turbines will be transported to the site.

By Jenni Dixon

PROTESTERS opposed to a wind farm in St James South Elmham have raised concerns about how the 10 328ft wind turbines will be transported to the site.

Campaign group Villagers Against Inappropriate Turbine Sitings (VAITS) has held a meeting to discuss how Saxon Windpower will get the turbines to the former Metfield airfield if the project is given the go-ahead.

Its spokeswoman, Jane Bastow, said: “As there are no A roads within approximately five miles of the location, the logistics of moving such large and heavy loads - the blades alone being 40m in length - on narrow winding lanes is a grave concern, especially to the people of Withersdale Street and parts of Weybread.

“Saxon have stated that whatever obstructs the route they will take out and reinstate. These things are easier said than done - how do you reinstate trees, hedges and walls which have stood for decades?”

John Fairlie, senior development manager for Saxon Windpower, said: “For us, it's still very, very early days. We wanted to share our ideas with the people in the area before any formal application is put in.

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“Any access route will be looked at very carefully and we have constructed sites in the past in very difficult locations in Wales and Scotland.”

Mr Fairlie added he believed the company could get the components to the site and minimise any impact on the environment.

VAITS also claimed Saxon Windpower had not given residents in the area enough notice about consultation meetings.

But Julia Holdcroft, marketing manager of Saxon Windpower, said: “We are conscious that timing is tight between announcing something and seeing people. We try to come out and see people as quickly as we can, but it is difficult.”

Bill Richmond, director of Saxon Windpower, will be at Metfield Village Hall tomorrow between 4pm and 7pm to discuss the firm's proposal.

It has also invited residents from St James South Elmham, Linstead, Rumburgh and Metfield to see a wind farm in action near Hull on September 27.

jenni.dixon@eadt.co.uk

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