Wind farm site 'could be war grave'
THE site earmarked for a major new wind farm in north Suffolk is a war grave and should not be developed, an aviation historian said last night.Saxon Windpower wants to install up to ten, 100-metre high turbines at St James South Elmham, near Halesworth.
By David Lennard
THE site earmarked for a major new wind farm in north Suffolk is a war grave and should not be developed, an aviation historian said last night.
Saxon Windpower wants to install up to ten, 100-metre high turbines at St James South Elmham, near Halesworth.
But the plan has sparked controversy in the area and now it has been claimed the remains of American soldiers – and possibly some unexploded ordnance – could be on the proposed site.
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Richard Pymar, an amateur aviation historian from Halesworth and secretary of the Halesworth (Holton) Airfield Memorial Museum, said the area had been a Second World War airfield used by the Americans – and in 1944 saw a huge explosion that claimed at least five lives.
More than 1,000 tons of explosives blew up at Metfield Airfield, either destroying or badly damaging properties in a ten-mile radius.
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"Five B24 Liberator heavy bombers were completely destroyed and six more badly damaged.
"But more importantly it is known that at least five American servicemen lost their lives in the tragic incident," said Mr Pymar.
Their remains were never found but they are commemorated on the "wall of the missing" at the American Military Cemetery at Madingley, Cambridgeshire.
"These boys are listed as missing in action so this area, which has been earmarked for these turbines, is without doubt a war grave," said Mr Pymar.
He also believes that a number of unexploded bombs could still be buried deep in the ground following the explosion.
"I am neither pro nor anti turbines – all I care for is the memory of brave boys fighting a war many miles away from home whose bodies lie where they fell.
"I would not want my dad, brothers, uncles or son's war grave marked by a wind turbine," said Mr Pymar.
Earlier this week Saxon Windpower, based in Ipswich, was given planning permission to install a 50-metre high mast used for recording wind speed to see if the site was suitable for the development.
If the company is happy with the results from the test it is likely to proceed with a full planning application for the wind farm.
A number of local residents are unhappy with the location for such a development and have formed a campaign group VAITS – Villagers Against Inappropriate Turbine Sitings – to oppose the application.
A spokeswoman for Saxon Windpower said the company was unaware of the site being considered as a war grave.