Campaigners against a wind farm in South West Ipswich have last night claimed victory as Partnership for Renewables has announced that it will no longer be pursuing any plans to build a wind turbine on Ipswich Borough Council land at Thorington Barns.
In a shock move, PfR have announced that they intend to pursue only one of two potential wind turbines on land to the South West of the county town, on land at Pannington Hall Farm. The other turbine, closer to Ipswich, will be dropped from their scheme.
They will instead be making a planning application to Babergh District Council towards the end of November for just one wind turbine, to be called the Pannington Hall Wind Turbine.
A spokesman for PfR said: “Following further detailed assessment through the Environmental Impact Assessment process and extensive consultation with the local community PfR has decided to amend the Thorington Barn wind energy development to a single wind turbine on the part of the site within the Pannington Farm land. Both the technical assessment PfR has undertaken and the local feedback has been invaluable in helping us hone our proposal and we are confident that this single turbine project is now the optimal design for the locality.
“The project will no longer include the previously proposed turbine on land owned by Ipswich Borough Council to the east of Belstead and south of Pinewood. There are no plans to re-consider this in the future and the agreement with IBC will fall away at the end of the year. PfR is extremely grateful to IBC for giving us the opportunity to consider their land for wind energy development and for their support in developing the project.”
The announcement was cautiously welcomed by pressure group Stop Ipswich Turbines, who said “We’ve won but not won. It is clear that PfR will try to bounce the plan through while we’re all letting out a sigh of relief.
Their spokeswoman, Jenny Mills, felt the decision would bring the Aldous family trust into the limelight. “Where IBC went into this agreement with PfR not really appreciating what a big deal it is, that cannot be said of the Aldous family.
“Although the residents of Belstead, Pinewood and Ipswich fringe will be less affected, this is the thin end of the wedge, and we wouldn’t expect there to be only one turbine in the end if this one got through.”
The move was also given a rapturous welcome by local Stoke Park councillor Nadia Cenci, who has been vocally against moves to promote turbines on Ipswich Borough Council land in this area. She told Ipswich Spy that “I am absolutely thrilled at the news that the proposed wind turbine on Ipswich Borough Land at Thorington is to be dropped by PfR.
“The constant campaigning and leafleting by Stop Ipswich Turbines, added to the work I have done in Stoke Park, helped to show the strength of feeling to the developers. I give PfR credit too for recognising that this particular turbine was not wanted by the majority of the residents.
“This is indeed a victory for democracy too and I will be celebrating along with my residents on the best bit of news for Stoke Park in a long time.”
Ipswich Borough Council stand to lose several thousand pounds as PfR intend to allow their option to rent the land to lapse at the end of the year. A spokesman said they were not yet available to comment.
PfR confirmed their intention to make a planning application in the near future, saying “PfR will be making a planning application for one single wind turbine of up to 130m maximum tip height in the same location as previously outlined along with a control building, tracks and hardstandings on the Pannington Farm land, with access from the Street at the existing field entrance as previously proposed. The grid connection point is now expected to be at the Tattingstone sub-station just over two miles south of the site.
“We expect to be making our planning application for the single turbine towards the end of November. The project will now be renamed as the Pannington Farm Wind Turbine. We will continue to engage with the local community and further public exhibitions will be held immediately following the submission of the planning application. These exhibitions will show details of the planning application, updated photomontages and information on the community benefit fund. More information on these events will be publicised nearer the time.”
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