Residents expressed their outrage on Monday night after they discovered parish council members knew about plans to build a wind turbine in their midst almost 18 months ago.
More than 150 people living in Ravensden attended a meeting at the village hall to voice their objections over Offgrid Power’s plans to construct a 78m high wind turbine in Great Field, Sunderland Hill – land owned by Bedford Borough Councillor Tom Wootton’s father, Ted.
Concerns raised at the emergency meeting, which was called by the chairwoman of the Parish Council, Helena Walker, included how the turbine would affect the landscape, the noise disturbance it would cause and possible interference to phone and TV signals and fears that more turbines could be added in the future.
Representing Offgrid, Matthew Snell attempted to reassure residents as they grilled him on some of these points but was given little opportunity to speak and was accused by some of ‘not doing his homework’.
However issue was also taken on the night over how long the Parish Council had known the plans were in the works as it was revealed that the authority had received a letter from the developer outlining their intentions in late 2011.
Speaking at the gathering, Mrs Walker said: “We had a letter in 2011 saying that a wind turbine was being proposed but it was just filed as there was no more said about it. The neighbouring councils such as Wilden, Bolnhurst and Thurleigh were also written to but we didn’t think anything of it until the notice of application was received last week.”
After hearing of the plans Mrs Walker stated that she was shocked that the council had only been given ‘short notice’ until February 28 to respond to the proposals.
After hearing what Mrs Walker had to say, one resident stood up and said: “I think it is a disgrace that the clerk was written to back in 2011 and it wasn’t brought to the attention of the council or to the community. This is a very sensitive issue and we should have been told.” He was supported by others who questioned the move.
It is believed the application will go before Bedford Borough Council’s planning committee in April.
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