Wind farms - the wait goes on

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to stop a £20 million wind farm from being built on their doorstep could know within days if their battle has been successful.Saxon Windpower is expected to decide this week whether to carry out an environmental impact study into plans for ten 100m wind turbines at St James South Elmham.

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to stop a £20 million wind farm from being built on their doorstep could know within days if their battle has been successful.

Saxon Windpower is expected to decide this week whether to carry out an environmental impact study into plans for ten 100m wind turbines at St James South Elmham.

The site is adjacent to the former Metfield Airfield and close to the villages of Saint James, All Saints, Rumburgh, Chediston, Linstead, Cookley and Metfield.

If the outcome of the study is positive, the company hopes to submit a planning application to Waveney District Council by April next year.


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Andy Holdcroft, managing director at Saxon Windpower, said: "We are just trying to finalise positions with the landowner at the moment and once we have got that sorted we will be pushing forward with it. We are hoping we will finalise the position this week."

The environmental impact study will take a detailed look at a range of environmental issues related to the development and operation of the site, from archaeology to noise, birdlife and a visual assessment of the plans.

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The company would not say how much it would cost, but said it was a "significant" amount of money.

"It's our view this is one of the ideal sites in this region," said Mr Holdcroft.

Jane Bastow, vice chairman of Villagers Against Inappropriate Turbine Sitings (VAITS) said: "As interested parties we will be looking very carefully to see what they say and do not say.

"It has been months and months now and we need to know where we are going, this has caused a lot of controversy."

Schemes by other wind farm providers for six 120m turbines at the former Flixton aerodrome near Bungay and proposals for eight 80 metre high turbines on the old Mendlesham Airfield, have sparked similar concerns from local residents.

Saxon Windpower, which is based in Ipswich and Bournemouth has yet to get a wind farm in operation. It has got the go-ahead for a site in the Orkneys, and is waiting for a decision on proposals for sites in Northamptonshire, Dorset and Lincolnshire.

The company is mainly focusing its attention on East Anglia and Southern England, and is looking at other potential but unnamed sites in Suffolk.

Ecotricity dropped plans for six 65m turbines at Sedgeford, near Hunstanton in Norfolk last week after carrying out two bird surveys as part of an environmental impact assessment of the site and consulting with interested parties, it decided to abandon the scheme.

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