A district councillor leading the campaign against a green energy company’s proposals to build seven 130m high wind turbines in a South Norfolk village has appealed to a local landowner to withdraw her land from the development scheme at the eleventh hour.
South Norfolk councillor Michael Windridge said he had written a letter to landowner Elizabeth Allen, which was handed to her at Hempnall Parish Council meeting on Wednesday, in which he pleaded with her not to disregard the wishes of the majority of villagers who he says are opposed to the scheme being proposed by Enertrag UK.
He said the scheme had created “division, heartache, uncertainty and much anguish throughout the village” and in his letter stated that “the designated location, proximity, scale and enormity of the proposed turbines at Hempnall are entirely inappropriate in such a rural location.”
Mr Windridge said that South Norfolk Council’s own independently-commissioned wind turbine sensitivity study has concluded that the Tas Valley tributary farmland landscape “is especially sensitive to large-scale developments due to its strong rural and tranquil character”.
He said it is his belief that everyone has a vital role to play in helping to reduce carbon emissions by supporting the development of renewable energy sources including wind, solar and tidal power.
But he added: “The solution to global warming won’t be found by spoiling the scenic beauty, tranquillity and diversity of such a sensitive rural environment.”
Mr Windridge said that he concluded his letter by urging Mrs Allen, who serves as a parish councillor, to resume her traditional landowning role as a “trustee of
the local countryside and guardian of the precious South Norfolk landscape”.
David Linley, Enertrag’s projects manager, was unaware of the letter but said: “Mrs Allen is under contract to ourselves for this particular project so really this letter cannot do very much. If anyone can withdraw the project it would be us, so we are who Mr Windridge should be talking to.”
He added that a planning application for the proposal should be submitted within the next two weeks.
Mrs Allen said that letters were handed to other members of the parish council but declined to comment further.
21 March 2008
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