Levington/Felixstowe: Site visit agreed to assess impact of wind turbines

PROPOSALS for two controversial projects to site wind turbines in designated beauty spots have been deferred for a month to enable decision-makers to see the situation on the ground.

There have been objections to plans for two turbines in a riverside valley at Levington, and one on farmland on the edge of Felixstowe – both of them Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Suffolk Coastal planning officers are recommending approval for both schemes – but councillors decided site visits on June 1 were needed to fully assess the impact.

The Levington scheme would see turbines 21 metres and 26m high on land at Levington Hall, owned by Dame Marjorie Scardino, chief executive of Pearson PLC, and her Pulitzer prize-winning journalist husband Albert, to reduce the estate’s reliance for energy on fossil fuels.

More than 80 per cent of residents of Levington – which has won national Village of the Year awards and Anglia in Bloom titles – are against the plans and a 276-signature petition has been submitted.

Parish council chairman David Long told the south area development control sub committee the proposals contravened a number of planning policies which said “great weight” should be given to protecting AONBs.

“These turbines, six storeys high with constantly moving rotors, would have a detrimental impact on a natural landscape,” he said.

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Councillor Veronica Falconer said: “The officers’ report is biased towards presumption to accept. Not enough weight has been to the deep-rooted concerns of the local community – so much for localism.”

South area team leader Liz Beighton said AONBs were working and living areas and not sacrosanct from development.

At Felixstowe, Adams and Sons (Farms) Ltd want to put a 21metre turbine in open countryside off Gulpher Road after pressure from customers to cut the carbon content of their products. It would power milking machines, chillers and sterilisers in the farm dairy.

Councillor Andy Smith said the turbine would be in an open field and widely visible and should be refused.

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