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Noise and safety top turbine meeting agenda

Emotions were running high at a public meeting to discuss a planning application for a 400ft wind turbine in Tong.

Representatives from Princes Food, who want to build the £2m structure at the drinks factory in Weaverthorpe Road, turned out for a public meeting at the Gateway Centre last night to answer questions from an audience of around 200 residents.

Alongside them were planning officers from Bradford Council. Planners said they had received 500 letters expressing reactions to the plans.

At a lively meeting in which the Princes contingent were often heckled and saw one couple walk out, objections centred around increased noise and health and safety issues.

Paul Jackson, general manager of the Princes plant, said the turbine would reduce the firm’s energy costs.

He said: “We need to be as competitive as we can in what can be a very aggressive and competitive market.

“We are here to work with the local authority and follow their guidelines and procedures.”

Some objectors accused the firm of dismissing the concerns of the residents.

Mr Jackson said: “I hope a major employer is not seen as a major inconvenience. We have been and are very proud of our footprint in the area and we are a big employer in the area.”

Council planners are waiting for a report by the Environmental Health department before a decision can be reached on the application.

By Ben Barnett

Telegraph and Argus

8 July 2008