Leader of Peterborough City Council Marco Cereste had to battle his way through protesters following a heated meeting about an energy park this evening.
Cllr Cereste had agreed to meet farmers and residents in Newborough, at the village’s parish council meeting, to discuss plans to build energy parks on farmland in the area.
The council is looking at three options for solar and wind farms at Newborough Farm, America Farm and Morris Farm which would involve moving tenant farmers.
At the meeting tonight he said the council will look to find new land for farmers who have to move while also looking to compensate those who lose out.
But the packed meeting, which was standing room only, was not convinced, accusing Cllr Cereste of refusing to listen and keeping farmers in the dark.
Chairman of the council, Nick Harris, said: “Personally, I think the way the city council has treated the tenant farmers is appalling. You should go to see your officers and tell them you are ashamed of them.”
And David Harrington, a city and parish councillor, said: “If this energy park goes ahead, you are going to lose a whole generation of farming experts and nobody is going to be able to pick that up.
“This community is going to dwindle, it is going to die.”
Cllr Cereste said the proposal could see millions of pounds invested in wind and solar energy on 900 acres of land generating a net profit of about £3million a year for the council.
He said that the electricity generated would also be sold back to the community at a discounted rate.
He added: “Unless we start generating income for our city there will come a time when the only solution will be to cut those services which are very important to all of us.”
All affected tenant farmers will be spoken to in the coming days to discuss compensation.
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