An engineer behind a £4 million wind farm earmarked for the Suffolk countryside says his development will not harm any rare or protected wildlife locally.
But villagers in the community most affected by the scheme are holding a public meeting tonight to debate the plans and insist there are bats and birds of prey in the area.
Mid Suffolk District Council has already given the go ahead for a 70 metre high wind monitoring mast at Wyverstone, near Stowmarket, and the structure will be in place for up to a year.
It was expected lead to an application for two 126 metre tall turbines in the village, at a cost of about £4 million, although the developer has been researching different options and may be able to use more efficient 100 metre turbines instead at a similar cost.
Andy Hilton, who was project manager for the construction of Britain’s two large offshore wind farms Scroby Sands off Yarmouth and Barrow wind farm off the north west coast, said the area around Wyverstone has no significant wildlife.
He said: “We have undertaken surveys and looked into bats, newts, birds and mammals locally and there is nothing there is any real interest.”
But Stop Wyverstone Wind farm Action Group (SWWAG), which has hundreds of members, has launched an opposition website as they oppose the development that would power 2,200 homes.
Dr Neil Macey a Stowmarket GP and chairman of the action group, said the campaigners now have a fighting fund of donations and about 550 members.
He said: “There are definitely bats locally and birds of prey and we believe there are some newts in the area.
“And as for this notion that they are beautiful sculptures in the landscape, they are completely out of scale in the landscape.”
N Tonight’s meeting to debate the wind farm is being held at Wyverstone village hall from 7.30pm, with everyone welcome.
20 May 2008
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