Felixstowe: Residents consider judicial review over turbine decision
A LEADING councillor has explained why he changed his mind and voted for a big new wind turbine in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty after initially being against it.
Andy Smith – chairman of planning at Felixstowe Town Council – gave a different view to his committee when the windmill was discussed at Suffolk Coastal.
Meanwhile, residents who are angry at the district council’s decision to approve the turbine on farmland in Gulpher Road are understood to be taking legal advice ovef a possible judicial review.
Adams and Sons (Farms) Ltd applied for the 21metre high 20KW turbine after pressure from customers to cut the carbon content of their products.
Felixstowe Town Council objected, saying the windmill would be unacceptable in the AONB because it would be visible on the skyline from the Deben Estuary, and could set a precedent for a series of similar applications.
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Mr Smith said that no members of the town council’s plans committee were under any kind of mandate to represent the committee’s view when sitting at the development control sub committee at Suffolk Coastal.
At the town council meeting, his knowledge was based on maps and his own perception of the site and felt, like other councillors, that as the Gulpher Road area was open farmland sweeping down to the estuary, the turbine would be visible over a wide area and from the river.
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However, following a site visit his view changed. While the turbine would be in the AONB, the question was the impact it would have on the area. He felt it would merge into the treeline while port cranes were highly visible and had more of an impact.
“Having seen it from that perspective, I could not in any reasonable use of the English language feel it was unacceptable and that’s why I changed my view,” he said.