Campaigners fighting to halt a planned wind farm outside Stoke Hammond have hit out at vandals who have sabotaged their efforts.
Over recent weeks posters have been torn down or mutilated, adverts giving times of public meetings have been destroyed and, in the latest attack, a banner was ripped up and the remains thrown into a field of cows.
Joseph Cresswell, vice-chairman of the Stop Dorcas Lane Turbines action group, said residents opposed to plans for the wind farm had the right to free speech.
He said: “SDLT has recently put up a number of banners around the six villages most affected by the proposed development of four wind turbines and have been erected by villagers on private property with the owners’ permission.
“During the night of June 19 the banner erected at the junction of the Wing/ Soulbury/ Linslade roads has been slashed and its remains thrown over the fence into the adjacent livestock pasture.
“The democratic right to free speech and to freedom of expression is a given in the UK and one that is admired throughout most parts of the world. However, it would appear that there are those in our community who do not support the right to free speech.
“The banner represents the views of more than 2,000 petitioners against the proposed development, who live in the villages around Dorcas Lane. Are anonymous knife wielding vandals, who work in the dark, attempting to prevent the villagers from exercising their legal and human rights to their opposition to the building of four wind turbines?
Are the people who did this simply ignorant vandals or are they supporters of the proposed turbines? Is this the beginning of a wider campaign designed to threaten our rights to free speech and to an open debate on this wind farm proposal?
“They threw the remains of the banner into a field where livestock grazed. Had the farmer not spotted the danger in time the episode could have been fatal, if the remains had been eaten by the cows, and would have resulted in an expensive loss to the farmer. This is yet another demonstration of just how little these anonymous knife wielding vandals care for our countryside and for our village communities.
We are saddened that others need to use these crude methods to express their opposition to SDLT rather than to meet in a public forum and to debate the merits of their views.”
Anyone with information about the vandalism should call Thames Valley Police on their non emergency number 101.
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