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Still no sign of road crossing at site of controversial Burnham wind farm

Work on a controversial windfarm continues to progress despite the absence of a promised pedestrian crossing to cope with building material deliveries.

Thousands of lorries are expected to make their way along Maldon Road, Southminster Road and Marsh Road, near the site of Ormiston Rivers Academy in Burnham-on-Crouch, to carry materials to Turncole Wind Farm.

But a £45,000 pedestrian crossing funded by energy developer RES is yet to be installed as the developer agreed in a £5m contract for the wind farm’s construction.

Action group organiser Ian Sisterson, 69, said: “We are still very concerned and continue to fight for the pedestrian crossing to be built on Church Road.

“In our opinion, RES has acted honourably and has fulfilled everything they said they would do.

“They have offered £45,000 toward the cost of installing a pedestrian crossing and the council has confirmed the funds are available.

“The issue has stalled somewhere on a local bureaucratic level.”

Preparatory work on the wind farm began just before Christmas.

After submitting a freedom of information request to the Maldon Local Highway Panel, Mr Sisterson received confirmation that the issue was raised in March 2015 by district councillor and Burnham mayor Ron Pratt, but the pedestrian crossing is still no nearer to being built.

Mr Sisterson is hoping to raise the issue at Burnham MP John Whittingdale’s surgery on Saturday next week but is concerned it is not soon enough.

“Now that a contractor has been assigned, the bulk of the traffic will begin shortly but it’s still in the local authority’s hands,” he said.

“My frustration comes from not being able to get answers. It clearly isn’t a priority.”

Once the wind farm becomes operational, it will provide a community benefit package totalling £87,500 per year.

It will also include RES’s Local Electricity Discount Scheme, which will offer an annual discount of £153 off the electricity bills of the nearest neighbours to the site.

Construction is expected to be finished by the end of 2016.

A spokesman for Essex County Council said: “Design work on the proposed Church Road pedestrian crossing is now complete and target costs are currently being calculated.

“Should RES decide to proceed, based upon revised scheme costs, installation is expected to begin in the 2016/2017 financial year.”