Wind farm proposals on view

VILLAGERS had a chance to record their views to Saxon Windpwoer as they visited the proposed site of £10million wind farm at Parham Airfield.The company distributed literature supporting their proposals for up to six 101m turbines for the development and reassured residents about the impact.

VILLAGERS had a chance to record their views to Saxon Windpwoer

as they visited the proposed site of £10million wind farm at Parham Airfield.

The company distributed literature supporting their proposals for up to six 101m turbines for the development and reassured residents about the impact.

People visited the site and received survey forms, which asked questions including whether they supported the use of wind energy, and whether they supported the wind farm proposal.


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They were also offered a free visit to a wind farm at Swaffham in Norfolk, where there are two turbines of 100m and 120m and Newton Wind Farm near Hull to see its seven 80m wind turbines in action.

Villagers have expressed fears about the effect the proposals were already having on property prices, noise from the turbines, their visual impact, and effects on bird life.

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An anti-wind farm group, NOWAP, or No Windfarm At Parham, has been formed, and a petition opposing the proposals set up.

Some campaigners want any wind farms to be situated off shore and are supporting Airtricity's bid to build a 500mw wind farm with 140 turbines on two sand banks at Greater Gabbard, 27km off Felixstowe.

Woodbridge solicitor James Lightfoot said: "This proposed off shore application would supply more than Suffolk's proposed renewable energy target by 2010 without the need for high, intrusive wind turbines in the countryside. Further industrialisation of our beautiful countryside would be avoided if renewable energy was produced offshore, as it can be here."

An Airtricity spokeswoman said: "It is regarded as an ideal site for an off shore wind farm due to high wind speeds, low water depth, suitable ground conditions and minimal environmental sensitivities."

It would take 15 months to complete an Environmental Impact Assessment study and then planning permission would be applied for. She said there would be enough energy to power more than 300,000 homes.

Saxon Windpower stressed it was not subsidised and said the development would generate enough power to cover around 13% of Suffolk Coastal district's needs.

"On-shore wind power does not receive any subsidies from the Government, unlike off-shore wind power. We are self-supporting. We are driven by market forces," said Saxon Windpower project manager James Townsend.

A noise survey by an independent consultant was currently under way, he said.

"If they have a noise nuisance then the proposal will not even go into planning permission. What we are saying to people with regard to any of the issues is come and visit a wind farm," he said.

An Environmental Impact Assessment is being done and Suffolk Coastal District Council is consulting parish councils and residents about any additional areas they would like to be examined. Any planning application is likely to be some months away.

Michael Lord, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich said: "I have listened carefully to what the proposers have got to say and also my constituents who I have to say are remarkably well informed and well organised.

"I think obviously renewable energy is a very important way forward, but the benefits from it must always outweigh the costs and problems which are created and I think that's the important thing in this case," he said.

"I'm going to go away and look into the matter further and obviously eventually I'll let my views be known."

Lady Cranbrook, a local objector, said: "This is a very special, very precious part of Suffolk. The Government cannot simply wash its hands of the landscape issues. We have actually got to have a strategy on where these wind farms go."

Villager Drew Stevenson of Great Glemham, a town planner, lives about 740m from the site of the nearest proposed turbine.

He said: "I have always been most concerned about the noise. We are obviously concerned about all the other things."

The idea of flicker through the moving blades as the sun shines through them was also a worry, he said.

Great Glemham parish councillor Prudence Stevenson said in her opinion the parish council should be looking at the benefits to the local community.

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