The consortium behind plans to build a wind farm in the Fens vowed to continue today after its survey mast was destroyed overnight.
The 85m-high steel mast near Middle Drove, Marshland St James, was felled after its guy ropes were cut.
It was put up to measure whether prevailing winds in the area would be enough to drive 26 turbines, which investors hoped to build on neighbouring farmland.
Today landowner John Askew, who is a member of the Marshland Wind Farm Consortium, said: “It’s been cut down and instead of being vertical, it’s now horizontal.
“It’s held up with steel guy ropes and they cut them first. The tension in the ropes could have cut your head off.”
Half of the 14-strong consortium behind the turbine plan resigned yesterday before the mast was attacked.
A spokesman for the remaining seven members said: “We regret that the named members have decided to withdraw from the wind farm consortium.
“We also regret that the systematic campaign of harassment and criminal damage which has probably been the root cause of their decision.
“Police have now been requested to investigate. The remaining landowners wish it to be known that their resolve is hardened by these incidents and are determined to make sure that a wind farm will be completed albeit a fraction of the size of that which could have been built.
“It should be remembered that Marshland is for the most part a very vulnerable part of East Anglia most of it being below or about sea level.
“Refusing to make a contribution to lowering carbon emissions and helping the climate change agenda is like turkeys voting for Christmas.
“Those activists who believe they have scored a victory may well have cause to think again if the battle against sea levels is lost.”
Today a leading protestor against the plan said the group set up to campaign against it could not condone criminal damage.
David McGuffog, of Fenland Landscapes Against Turbines (FLAT) said: “We can’t condone anything like that. I’ve also heard on the grapevine people have had hate mail.
“We’re ordinary people, we know each other so of course we can’t condone anything like that, but I’ve had phone calls too – people ringing me up saying silly things.
“There are a lot of angry people in this village, they resent the fact a handful of people could spoil their country way of life.
“It’s our opinion. We’re not happy about the turbines and we’ll fight them but we’ll do everything above board.”
9 May 2007