Cabinet resignation over windfarm plan

A COUNTY councillor has today announced he has resigned over the controversial plans for a windfarm at Parham.Colin Hart, who was a member of the council's decision making cabinet, said he was standing down from his role as the portfolio holder for environment, waste and economic development.

A COUNTY councillor has today announced he has resigned over the controversial plans for a windfarm at Parham.

Colin Hart, who was a member of the council's decision making cabinet, said he was standing down from his role as the portfolio holder for environment, waste and economic development.

Mr Hart, who was elected for the first time in May to the Framlingham ward, said he had campaigned for votes on the basis of his objection to plans for a windfarm in Parham.

Suffolk Coastal District Council planning officers are currently investigating the planning application for six 101 metre wind turbines at Parham Airfield.

Suffolk County Council's cabinet was asked to look at the plans last month and decided it would not object to the application.

Mr Hart said: "In the course of the election campaign I made it quite clear that I was totally opposed to the Parham wind farm application and that I would campaign against any onshore wind farms in the county.

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"That remains my position. It is one based on a strong conviction, grounded on research and evidence, that onshore wind farms are neither desirable, necessary nor appropriate.

"It is becoming increasingly clear that my continued membership of the County Council's cabinet does not stand side by side with that position and is likely to inhibit my effective representation of the people who elected me.

"It is therefore with great regret that I have resigned from the Cabinet."

As well as his membership of the conservative-run cabinet, Mr Hart has also resigned from his roles at other organisations.

He has resigned with immediate effect from the East of England Regional Assenbly Planning Panel, the Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy Members Steering Group and the Haven Gateway Partnership Management Committee.

The move was welcomed today by John Constable of campaign group No Windfarm at Parham, who said: "Mr Hart is well-informed on the subject of energy and environment and has made it very clear that he judges onshore wind power to be the wrong renewable for Suffolk."

"Mr Hart's resignation from the Suffolk County Council cabinet in order better to represent the interests and views of local people is both consistent and principled in a way which is rare in contemporary politics."