Controversial plans for a wind farm will still go ahead despite alleged sabotage activity ““ and turbines could now be spread over a wider area than first thought.
Anger has greeted news that as many as 26 turbines may appear at Marshland St James, with police brought in after a test mast used to check wind power was destroyed.
It was initially thought the project was being scaled down after half the 14-strong Renewable Energy Consortium prepared to allow land to be used for turbines resigned, citing “entirely personal reasons”.
However, one of the consultants working with them, Bruce Pittingale, revealed to the Lynn News how other landowners had now approached those behind the project meaning turbines might now be spread over a wider area, perhaps as little as a mile away.
The news did not surprise Lyndon Mason, chairman of the anti-wind farm action committee FLAT or Fenland Landscape Against Turbines. There had been no confirmation of what was being “scaled down”, he said, adding: “We would caution people not to be lulled into a sense of false security.”
A Norfolk police spokeswoman said Downham CID officers were investigating following reports of damage to the 85-metre high anemometer at Moyses Bank.
They were on scene on Wednesday, after it appeared retaining wires were cropped through between April 22 and Tuesday.
FLAT has been quick to distance itself from any wrongdoing. “FLAT obviously does not condone such acts of vandalism but it does serve to demonstrate the strong local feeling against the development,” Mr Mason said.
Those who have quit the consortium, Phil, Jean and David Didwell, Fred and Mary Judd, Richard Carter and Richard Askew, confirmed their decision in an e-mail to Lynn News editor Malcolm Powell.
Potential turbines planned for their land would not now be built, they said.
Mr Pittingale had previously alleged there had been a “systematic campaign of harassment, threats of physical violence and criminal damage” against some of those involved in the project.
Although Marshland Wind Farm Ltd, which was behind the project, regretted the seven’s decision, Mr Pittingale noted their actions had hardened the resolve of those still wanting to be involved.
Meanwhile, newly-elected Independent West Norfolk councillor for Marshland St James and Walsoken David Markinson was delighted to win by taking almost half the vote. He had spoken out against turbines at a packed meeting at Marshland’s Jubilee Hall.
A further public meeting ““ organised by FLAT ““ will take place next Friday at Tilney St Lawrence Village Hall at 7pm.
10 May 2007
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