Villagers angered by proposals to build wind turbines the size of the London Eye near Chedburgh have packed a public meeting.
More than 60 protesters filled Hawkedon Village Hall on Friday to rally support for the campaign against the turbines, headed by Residents Against Chedburgh Turbines (RACT).
Jo Pugh, of The Street, Shimpling, said: “These turbines would have a devastating effect on the area and would just destroy the landscape.
“It is a ridiculous waste of money. These turbines are also badly inefficient because when the wind doesn’t blow, they have to be powered by electricity.”
The rally was sparked by talks between landowners of Chedburgh old airfield and Diss-based wind power specialist firm, Enertrag.
Although no formal planning application has been submitted to St Edmundsbury Borough Council, campaigners are vowing to strike the first blow.
Paul Long, 65, chairman of RACT, said: “We are going to fight this because a wind farm is going to devastate the countryside.
“It is vitally important to mobilise people before an application goes in.”
Standing at 125 metres, the turbines would be six times the height of Chedburgh Church, with each rotor blade the height of St Edmundsbury Cathedral, in Bury St Edmunds.
Tim Yeo, MP for South Suffolk, spoke out against the turbines at the meeting, urging protesters to write to him personally on the issue.
After the rally, he said: “Without doubt this is a particularly beautiful part of the countryside and it would be very damaging to the whole environment if these turbines were introduced.
“This is not a suitable place for a wind farm. There should be a decisive community voice.”
But David Linley, manager of projects at Enertrag, said he was puzzled by public concern as no formal planning applications had been submitted.
He said: “We don’t plan to put forward a project at this stage because we don’t have an agreement with any landowners.
“At the end of the day, these projects, if they do go ahead, are in the planning process for about 15 to 18 months, during which time there is full public consultation.”
More information about the campaign can be found at the RACT website, www.ract.co.uk.
15 June 2007
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