Campaigners against a proposed windfarm set out to prove that their concerns were not hot air at the weekend by launching a helium-filled “blimp” into the south Norfolk skies.
Members of Stop Hempnall’s Onshore Wind Turbines (SHOWT) flew the 20ft long airship shaped balloon to highlight the scale of the proposed seven turbine site, north east of the village.
The demonstration comes as Diss-based developer Enertrag UK aims to submit plans in the autumn for the windfarm in the Tas Valley, which will stand 130ft tall.
Villagers in Hempnall, who raised more than £2,000 for the blimp, launched it with the permission of the Civil Aviation Authority over the weekend to replicate the height of the proposed turbines, which campaigners say will overshadow two woodland sites designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
Geoff Moulton, chairman of SHOWT, said the exercise was to bring home to the wider community the “exceptional” height of the turbines, which would be taller than Norwich Cathedral and only five metres less than the London Eye.
“The blimp clearly illustrates in graphic visual terms just how great will be their impact on the landscape around the Hempnall area and the threat these industrial size structures will pose to the remoteness and rural tranquillity of the south Norfolk countryside. The severe environmental impact of this development would more than outweigh any of the benefits claimed,” he said.
Michael Windridge, South Norfolk Councillor for Hempnall, added that he was “delighted” that about 100 people attended the blimp’s official launch on Saturday.
“There is a huge body of opposition against this and it is not a question of ‘not in Hempnall’, but not in this particular location. There are other locations that are more suitable,” he said.
No one from Enertrag was available yesterday, but project manager David Linley previously told the EDP that there was a “large silent contingent” of supporters for the windfarm.
By Adam Gretton
25 June 2007
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