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Turbine protest

They are foot soldiers, from toddlers to pensioners, gearing up for a long battle with a power giant.

And the troops from ATAC fighting against plans for five giant wind turbines literally put their best put forward on Sunday as they took part in a sponsored walk to raise money to boost their campaign fund.

Turbine protest - NO wind farms

Power company Eon wants to put up five 125m high turbines on an area of land called Chiplow between the villages of Syderstone, Bircham and Bagthorpe.

The proposals are being fought by a group called ATAC – Against Turbines at Chiplow – and about 60 members yesterday raised hundreds of pounds by walking about five miles around the perimeter of the proposed site.

“We are confident but it will be a hard fight,” said campaigner and walk organiser Reg Thompson.

“For me it was gratifying to see how many young families came on the walk. After all it is for our children’s sake that we are trying to save our beautiful Norfolk countryside.”

He said £10,000 was needed to pay for legal advice, consultants and publicity.

King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council refused permission for a test mast on the site in September and Eon announced it will appeal that decision and an inquiry is likely to be held later this year.

If it gets permission the company will then apply for the turbines.

A parish poll was held last year and 77pc of people voted against the turbine proposals. The main reasons for opposition are the impact on the countryside and the threat to local wildlife, especially pink footed geese.

Eon stresses the turbines would generate enough electricity to supply about 5,000 homes and the project would have a big benefit for the local community.

Among the 60-strong walking party were Syderstone couple Lucy and James Bassett and their five-year-old twins Harry and Sophia.

Mrs Bassett said: “I am not against turbines but they must be in the right place and I do not feel this is the right place. I am worried about the health impact and they would also have an impact on the wildlife and lots of species could be disturbed.”

A local farmer donated the use of his barn as a soup kitchen at the halfway point for the walkers.

Fakenham & Wells Times

9 January 2008