An action group has been formed in Marshland St James, as plans for a £40 million wind turbine scheme have come to light.
Some residents are angry they were not told earlier about the massive scheme ““ early plans for which show 26 sites for turbines around the village.
Dave McGuffog, of Bourne Blinds, said his phone had been ringing non-stop since news of the scheme broke.
One woman was almost in tears, he said.
“We will be a wind turbine village,” Mr McGuffog said. “Most people were unaware of it.”
The scheme had been uncovered on a Government website, he said. Marshland Wind Farm Action Committee had been formed, and would be meeting at the village’s Jubilee Hall on Thursday, at 7pm.
Among those who might join are David Markinson, an independent candidate for the Mershe Lande ward in forthcoming West Norfolk borough council elections, who feels local people have been let down.
Local feelings, he said, were beginning to run “very high”.
The Marshland St James-based Renewable Energy Consortium is behind the project, consultants Ian Robinson and Bruce Pittingale working with them.
Concerning the 26-turbine layout, Mr Pittingale said this had been produced to send to over 80 groups and organisations, such as English Nature, Anglian Water and BT, ahead of environmental impact assessments being completed.
Mr Robinson said reports still had to come in and there had been little point approaching residents earlier because it might be shown that the plans could not go ahead anyway.
An explanatory open letter had been produced by the consortium to keep local people “in the know”. There would also be public meetings.
An anemometer to measure wind speeds had been put up near Black Drove, to see if there was enough wind to support turbines on a daily basis.
After a feasibility study, the consortium would say exactly how many turbines were proposed, how high they would be, and how much “green electricity” would be produced.
The consortium says the local community would get £500,000 from the development, with a Community Energy Fund set up to enhance the environment.
But some people remain sceptical. Mr Robinson said the early plans showed turbines no nearer Smeeth Road than 1.8 miles ““ although Mr McGuffog said guidelines suggested turbines needed be no further from homes than 500 metres.
He added: “People are scared.”
12 April 2007
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