The company planning to build a £40million wind farm at Marshland St James should accept that the residents are opposed to the development and that the time for debate is over.
That was the clear message from Councillor David Markinson, who this week hit out at the company’s response to the overwhelming rejection of the project in a parish vote.
Cllr Markinson, who represents Marshland St James on West Norfolk Borough Council, is disappointed that a spokesman for Marshland Wind Farms Ltd said that the 47 per cent turnout at the poll meant that at least 53 per cent had “no vehement objection” to the scheme and that the consortium would press ahead and apply for planning permission.
He accused the company, which plans to build more than 20 turbines, of condemning voters’ views and dismissed the entire process as something that should be ignored.
“These polls are the legal instrument by which the electorate take a democratic vote on a subject of their choice,” he said. “The sole intention of them is to express public opinion in a lawful and proper way.
“The issue is now no longer a matter of taking sides in the debate. Three quarters of voters have moved against this proposal and that gives closure to the question of whether wind turbines are wanted or not. The answer to that question has been a 76 per cent vote of ‘no’.
Cllr Markinson said he was unhappy that the company appeared to have taken it upon itself to call into question not only the integrity of the electorate but also the integrity of the borough council, which provided officers to conduct the poll.
“The outcome of a vote after a poll is the platform on which the entire electoral process in this country is based,” he continued. “It is the fundamental principle that is relied on by both central and local government in establishing a method of engaging a democratic process that is beyond questioning.
“Marshland Wind Farms Ltd should now accept that the vast majority of people in Marshland St James do not want their building proposal to go ahead. The electorate have spoken and that is final.”
25 October 2007
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