Ipswich: Residents voice anger at turbine proposals

RESIDENTS in south west Ipswich were out in force last night to express their anger and concern over proposals for two new wind turbines.

The plans would see two wind turbines sited at Thorington Barn, near Belstead, next to the A14.

The turbines would be put up on land owned by Ipswich Borough Council, but actually in Babergh district.

The hall of Suffolk New Academy was packed for the South West Ipswich Area Forum, with the turbine proposals the first item on the agenda.

The audience heard ten minute presentations from Peter Evans, co-founder of the Stop Ipswich Turbines (SIT) Action Group and Susannah Miller of Partnerships for Renewables (PfR) – the green energy company responsible for constructing the turbines.

Mr Evans outlined the concerns of residents living close to the site, including how turbines would be an “overpowering presence” that would “affect the quality of life dramatically.”

Mr Evans explained that after visiting a similar site in Kessingland near Lowestoft, members of SIT are concerned about the health problems caused by close proximity to turbines and shadow “flicker” caused by the sun going behind turbine rotors.

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Mr Evans also voiced his concerns that there had been no “proper consultation” about the plans.

Ms Miller attempted to address the issues raised and assured residents that PfR had undertaken several studies and consultations and would hold more before the planning application is submitted to Babergh District Council.

Ms Miller said PfR studies have shown the Thorington Barn site to be “very compatible with wind turbines” and it is estimated that the turbines will provide enough power for around 2500 homes.

PfR is hoping to submit the planning application early next year and, if successful, it is planned for the turbines to be made operational in 2014-15.

Following the presentations, residents were given 30 minutes for questions.

Questions and concerns included the lack of information provided to residents about the proposals, effects on quality of life and the noise created by the turbines.

Some of the residents’ anger was also directed at site owners Ipswich Borough Council.

Borough council leader David Ellesmere explained that the deal was signed between the former Conservative/Lib Dem administration in 2008.

He said: “We have to deal with the situation we have now, which is to allow them to build the turbines on the land – should they get planning permission from Babergh.”

What do you think about the proposals? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN, or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk