Villagers from across south Norfolk have vowed to work together to fight plans to build 130m high wind turbines on their doorstep.
Residents from the villages of Woodton, Topcroft and Bedingham gathered to have their say about proposals to build seven turbines at nearby Hempnall on Thursday night.
More than 50 people attended a meeting hosted by Woodton Parish Council to hear a presentation by Enertrag UK’s project engineer Terry Chapelhow and to find out more about the project.
Residents in Hempnall have held several high-profile meetings criticising the plans but Thursday night was the first time that people in Woodton – about four miles from the planned site – have had a formal meeting since the idea was announced last autumn.
Representatives from anti-turbine campaign group SHOWT (Stop Hempnall’s On-shore Wind Turbines), which has more than 700 members in the local area, spoke out against the scheme.
Chairman Geoff Moulton said: “As a group we support the concept of wind and renewable energy and we’re not opposed to on-shore wind energy as long as it is in an appropriate location, which this plan is not.
“The people here have rural values, they enjoy country views. If this project goes ahead then those views will be destroyed.”
SHOWT member Hilary Battye said: “I have lived in Woodton for 25 years and raised my family here. I have no doubt that the visual impact of these proposals is unacceptable. We should not underestimate its impact on the sky line.”
Villager Michael Boon, who lives in Norwich Road, said: “This is an idiocy and a blight on our community. I have to apply for planning permission for every thing I do to my property. If this goes ahead, I’m going to tear up the planning regulations because it is total nonsense.”
In response to criticism from members of the public at the meeting, Mr Chapelhow said: “Wind turbines are not the be-all answer, they are part of it. We have to reduce our energy consumption at the same time.”
He added that the site is still being assessed to find out if a wind farm would be commercially viable and that no formal planning application has yet been submitted for the site.
13 September 2007
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