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Latest twist in long-running turbine saga

The Palgrave wind turbine row has taken another twist.

With the village still split over the controversial addition to the community centre playing fields, Palgrave and District Community Council (PDCC) formed an independent working party to try and find a solution to the long-running saga.

The group has spent six months trying to appease both residents unhappy about the noise and visual disruption caused by the turbine, and the PDCC, which is reliant on income generated by the energy-producing contraption to keep the community centre going.

But in recent days, working party chairman David Burn said he was as shocked as anybody to learn that members of the PDCC have lodged a fresh bid with Mid Suffolk District Council to keep the turbine – which has been in operation since 2011 – on the playing field, off Upper Rose Lane.

The working party, which comprises residents for and against the turbine in its current form, brought forward its next planned meeting by several weeks in order to discuss the latest bolt from the blue.

The original planning permission for the 24-metre structure, secured amid objections from Palgrave Parish Council and a number of villagers alike more than two years ago, has been jeopardised as the turbine was not built to the set stipulations.

The PDCC chairman, Alan Spoors, told the Diss Express the latest planning bid was just a case of “tidying up the past”, and reflecting the actual specifications of the turbine.

In a separate application, due to be decided in September, Neil Weston has applied to Suffolk County Council to turn the playing fields into a village green. If his bid is successful, the turbine would have to be removed, as village green status prevents developments from being built.

Mr Weston said: “This turbine continues to cause a lot of anger and consternation, and the feeling in Palgrave is awful.

“Nobody wants to see the community centre fail, but the turbine has to be moved elsewhere, away from the nearby houses. This is vital to regaining good feeling in the village.”

The decision to appoint a working party was taken at a stormy PDCC meeting held towards the end of last year.

John Kilgannon, the previous PDCC chairman, resigned from his position on the night. Mr Spoors, said: “The meeting was a rancourous affair, with voices raised, and abuse and insults thrown. It was the most unpleasant evening I’ve ever spent in Palgrave. I hope never to see its like again.”