Councillors in Swaffham have set up a working group to examine the evidence for and against wind turbines before establishing the town’s policy towards them.
The move was prompted by plans for new windfarms in and around the town that could take the total number of turbines in the Swaffham area to more than 20.
Most of the town councillors will sit on the group, which will take into account views expressed by interested parties such as the Stop Turbines Action Group and any pro-wind energy lobby in the area.
Councillors had been given copies of Breckland Council’s wind energy policy as a starting point for discussion before last week’s town council meeting.
Town clerk Richard Bishop told them there were many other documents which might also be considered relevant.
Urging the setting up of a working group to gather more information and report back to the council, Mr Ian Sherwood said: “It’s clear that this is a huge subject and we couldn’t do this justice without
sitting her for an hour or two tonight.
“Public opinion is changing.
“Many of us weren’t aware of things like carbon footprints two years ago but people are supporting it now.”
Mr David Wickerson also called for the wider evidence to be considered, as there were plans for more turbines that could have a visual impact on Swaffham.
Breckland Council’s policy was largely based on planning aspects, such as landscape, nature conservation and local amenity, he said.
Mrs Terry Jennison considered the present turbines were inefficient, but Mrs Pippa Wade said the town council should be careful that it was not seen as obstructive, negative or taking a Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) attitude.
“We should be reflecting the views of the electorate, not just our personal views on this,” she said. The working group will report back to a future council meeting with a recommended policy.
27 July 2007