Residents who celebrated the council’s u-turn for a solar farm on a nature reserve have reacted in horror to suggestions wind farms could be installed instead.
At a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, July 19, Havering Council unveiled its draft local plan which sets out its vision and framework for future development in the borough.
The plan incorporated guidance for any private developers who submit proposals for wind turbines in Havering to help the council meet its ambition of reducing carbon emissions.
The plan earmarked open spaces in seven wards – Havering Park, Gooshays, Mawneys and Brooklands, Cranham, Upminster, Rainham and Wennington, and South Hornchurch – as most suitable to accommodate wind farms of small, medium or large sizes.
But chairman of the Friends of Dagnam Park group, who fought against plans for a solar farm in Dagnam Park, Harold Hill, said the plan was “unbelievable”.
“It is with utter disbelief that we now find ourselves looking towards campaigning once again against the local authority in retaining the openness of the fields that make up the vista of the local nature reserve at Dagnam Park and which gives it its depth of character after the Friends of Dagnam Park and members of the local community fought so tirelessly to save it from being encroached upon by the installation of a solar farm only months ago,” he said.
“We now find that the proposal, as per the draft copy of the Local Development Framework Plan, of placing wind turbines, regardless of how many per field, in 11 of the fields would be detrimental to the over all appearance of the parkland of which members of the public enjoy.”
The plan states: “The council will support proposals for wind turbines.”
But it goes on to say that all stand-alone renewable energy developments should be located and designed to minimise any adverse impacts.
According to the draft plan renewable energy is crucial to meeting the council’s ambition of reducing carbon emissions, and generating cleaner power.
Community campaigners Lorraine Moss, from Romford, and Jan Sargent, from Harold Hill, who fought against the Dagnam Park solar farm proposals, plan to launch a new campaign.
Havering Council have been approached for comment.
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