Two women who launched a successful social media campaign to protect a much-loved beauty spot say they feel “punched” in the stomach at the prospect of wind farms being installed.
Community campaigners Lorraine Moss, Romford, and Jan Sargent, Harold Hill, launched a petition on Change.org after Havering Council included guidance for wind farm proposals in its draft local plan.
The plan unveiled at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, July 19, deemed around 200 sites – including Dagnam Park – within seven wards as most “appropriate” for wind farms.
“Lorraine and I feel as if we have been punched in the stomach but we are fighting fit and it won’t phase us,” said Jan.
“We are ready to pick this up from where it was left with the solar farm proposal, again with strength and determination from our community.”
Wind turbines of small, medium, and large sizes could be installed in Havering Park, Gooshays, Mawneys and Brooklands, Cranham, Upminster, Rainham and Wennington, and South Hornchurch wards.
These include beauty spots such as Havering Country Park, Bedfords Park, Pyrgo Park, Dagnam Park, and near Rainham Cemetery.
The guidance within the draft local plan states any private developers who submit proposals for wind turbines in Havering must ensure that they are “located and designed to minimise any adverse impacts”.
Renewable energy is crucial to meeting the council’s ambition of reducing carbon emissions, and generating cleaner power.
But Phil Wailing, who volunteers at Bedfords Park, Broxhill Road, Havering-atte-Bower, shared Lorraine and Jan’s lack of enthusiasm.
“Councillors are completely clueless as to what’s in Bedfords Park , its flora, fauna biodiversity or wildlife and they’re the people making these decisions,” he said.
“Bedfords Park is designated a local nature reserve and comes under the National Parks and Access to Countryside Act 1949 and was declared a nature reserve in 2008. It’s not there for wind turbines.”
In November and January, hundreds of people gathered outside Havering Town Hall to protest against solar farm plans for Dagnam Park.
Following the fierce opposition, the plans were shelved in March.
Lorraine urged people to sign the petition.
“We cannot believe that so soon after our last victory that Dagnam Park is again under threat,” she said.
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