Town could get its own wind turbine

By Dave GooderhamTHE skyline of a town could be changed forever, thanks to one determined resident who is campaigning for an alternative way of generating electricity.

By Dave Gooderham

THE skyline of a town could be changed forever, thanks to one determined resident who is campaigning for an alternative way of generating electricity.

Julie Turley is hoping to persuade councillors and residents that a 200ft-high wind turbine should be looking down on Haverhill as an environmentally-friendly energy source.

Mrs Turley, who will be setting out her ideas to the town council on Tuesday, said she believed about 1,000 homes in Haverhill would benefit from a turbine and an associated solar-panelled building.

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“It will supply power through the wind, so it will be a natural source of energy. Although it will not provide that much energy at first, it is a start and it is renewable,” she added.

“I hope it would benefit the town and the residents of Haverhill. People driving on the bypass will see it and think that we are looking towards the future.

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“You don't see wind turbines in every town, but they are becoming more and more popular and they show Haverhill is looking at the future and looking after their future generations.”

It is proposed the wind turbine would be built alongside the new council depot in Homefield Road after its existing Station Yard site is knocked down to make way for a Tesco store.

Mrs Turley, of Parkside, initially brought up the idea through the town council's public forum and she said she had been encouraged by the response from councillors.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council's overview and scrutiny committee has now agreed to look at the possibility of building the wind turbine in Haverhill.

The council's head of property services, Ivan Sams, said: “The council is very energy and environmentally-aware and we will now look at how much wind is generated in that area in Haverhill.

“If there is not a sufficient amount, we will look at other council-owned sites in the borough.”

Mrs Turley, 32, said she had visited a similar wind turbine in Swaffham, which has been viewed as a great success.

Boasting two turbines at a total height of almost 500ft, it is estimated the turbines provide three-quarters of the town's electricity needs. Visitors are also able climb the Swaffham turbine and enjoy the views.

Mrs Turley said: “I don't think it will be as big as Swaffham - that is a really remarkable one. I think this would purely be for performance rather than bringing visitors to climb up to.”

Don Saunders, education manager of Echotech Centre Ltd, which helped run the turbines in Swaffham, said: “The turbines have been fantastically successful and I think it has become a bit of a landmark.

“I think whenever something like wind turbines are first mentioned, there is some suspicion and everyone is a little conservative.

“A lot of people will probably say they don't want it because it is unknown, but people now realise that turbines are a great success.”

Haverhill Town Council clerk, Gordon Mussett, said: “It is encouraging to see residents pursuing issues such as this and the town council recognises sustainable energy is the long term future.”

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