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Wind farm firm's public meeting fear

Developers behind plans for a controversial wind farm in west Norfolk claim they have been advised by police to stay away from a public meeting, for fear it could result in a breach of the peace.

Members of Marshland Wind Farm Ltd claim they have been told by police to stay away from tonight’s meeting which has been organised by anti-wind farm campaigners.

Plans for the proposed wind farm have rocked villagers living in Marshland St James.

Many are divided over plans to site the turbines on farmland near the village.

Last week a 300ft mast, put up to measure wind speeds in the area, was vandalised and the structure fell to the ground after its support wires were cut.

Hundreds of angry villagers packed into a public meeting last month to voice their concerns, and the same numbers are expected to attend the meeting which has been organised by Fenland Landscape Against Turbines (FLAT),

A spokesman said last night: “We attended the last meeting and it was most uncomfortable, we have not been invited to this one, and we have been advised by the police to stay away.

“We don’t dispute what the police have said and we feel it is highly sensible for us to stay away. It is a highly emotive situation. “

But Lyndon Mason, chairman of FLAT, said: “It is a public meeting which has been advertised widely and we don’t officially send invites out to it, as anyone can just turn up.

“We are running a peaceful and lawful protest and I have discussed this personally with the police.”

He said he had also visited the police, and the up-coming meeting had also been discussed.

A police spokesman said: “We are aware that a meeting is due to take place at Tilney St Lawrence Village Hall at 7pm.

“This is not considered a policing issue and if officers had been required they would have attended.”

The spokesman for Marshland Wind Farm Ltd, also revealed that any planning application for a controversial wind farm in west Norfolk will not be submitted this year.

He said the project had suffered a set-back due to the recent vandalism of the anemometer and also the loss of half the members of the Marshland Wind Farm Consortium who resigned it is claimed because of threats and intimidation.

But he said developers had been contacted by other land owners: “We are in polite talks with them, whether we take any on is not down to me.”

The meeting is due to be held at Tilney St Lawrence Village Hall at 7pm will be an opportunity for residents to be updated on the development and find out how they can be involved in opposing the plans.

Villagers believe that up to 26 turbines could be built, but last week, a spokesman said the project would now be scaled down, because of the loss of key members from the consortium.

edp24.co.uk

18 May 2007