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Breakdown in windfarm talks  

Controversial plans for a windfarm have been shelved after talks between an energy firm and a landowner broke down.

Opponents to the proposed development, which would have seen seven or eight 125m turbines on land at Chedburgh, expressed relief at the announcement this week – but said they would continue to watch for any new proposals.

Renewable energy firm Enertrag UK had previously been in discussions with the London-based Henry Smith Charity, which owns much of the land the firm had hoped to build on.

David Linley, project manager for Enertag, confirmed the company had pulled out of negotiations after failing to reach an agreement.

“After negotiations with the trust, we came to no positive decisions on any development,” he said.

“The proposed development included three landowners, but we have had no contact with the other landowners at this time and it’s not at the top of our list of priorities.”

An action group campaigning against the proposals had claimed the development would dominate the upper part of the Glem Valley, blighting the lives of residents.

Paul Long, chairman of the group, said he was relieved at the outcome, which was revealed in a letter to campaigners from a trustee of the charity.

“We’re not talking about victory or defeat – we’re just glad the negotiations have come to an end,” he said.

“There’s a relief that we have saved a particularly beautiful part of west Suffolk, at least for the foreseeable future.

“The whole concept of generating electricity through onshore turbines is flawed and it’s only done because of massive government subsidies.”

Richard Evans, who also opposed the plans, said: “We are cautiously optimistic. We have been down this path before three years ago – it all went away and then suddenly came back again, so we are mindful of that.”

Richard Hopgood, director of the Henry Smith Charity, said there were no plans to pursue the proposal with other energy companies.

“The negotiations with Enertrag reached a point where we could not agree,” he said. “It wasn’t a direct response to public responses, although we were taking very careful note of that.”

By Kirsty Marais

Bury Free Press

13 September 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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