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Wind turbines cause a storm

Tempers have flared again in Marshland St James where plans for a massive wind turbine development have rocked the village.

More than 100 villagers attended an extraordinary meeting of the parish council on Friday to appoint a new chairman, with the idea of being able to discuss the wind turbine development.

However, the subject was unable to be discussed – because it was not on the agenda – leaving villagers incensed.

Newly-appointed parish council chairman Jack Bantoft, who took over the role from David Gathercole and is a former West Norfolk councillor of 18 years’ standing, closed the meeting with no formal discussion about the issue.

This led to angry comments from the floor, including calls for the parish council to resign.

Many local people have consistently opposed plans for the wind farm, fearing such structures might devalue their homes and keep them awake.

Afterwards, chairman of action group Fenland Landscape Against Turbines, Lyndon Mason, said he thought parish councillors seemed to have forgotten they were elected by parishioners to serve parishioners.

He further claimed there seemed to be a feeling among parish councillors that the wind turbine issue was not important and was being driven by a few incoming NIMBYS – which stands for Not In My Back Yard – and people outside the parish.

“I would have thought the turnout at the two public meetings that FLAT has held and the turnout for the parish council meeting should have made it obvious to them it is the biggest issue to face our community for many years.”

He called for a public parish meeting to take place to give everyone the chance to have a frank and open discussion with the parish council about the issue.

Mr Bantoft was this week unavailable for comment, though the Lynn News understands he is due to make a statement following what happened at the meeting in due course.

Lynn News

3 August 2007