Levington: Villagers face defeat in battle of turbines

VILLAGERS are today facing defeat in their fight to stop two wind turbines scarring a beautiful riverside valley.

Planning officers at Suffolk Coastal are recommending the machines to generate green electricity are given the go-ahead on Tuesday on land at Levington Hall, despite a huge number of objections.

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.

Levington Parish Council has put forward a 16-point dossier, and objections have been made by Suffolk Preservation Society, and councillors Patricia O’Brien and Veronica Falconer, plus 36 letters from residents.

Dame Marjorie Scardino, chief executive of Pearson PLC, and her Pulitzer prize-winning journalist husband Albert, want to put the turbines in place at their home at Levington Hall to enhance the property’s impact on the environment in a positive way, reducing its reliance for energy on fossil fuels.

Mr Scardino said: “As has been the case with every aspect of our work, we will attempt to mitigate the impact on them as much as possible through our extensive programme of reforestation, hedge planting and coppice woodland development.”

The parish council said the turbines – 21 metres and 26m high – would be in an unspoilt valley, in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, on rising ground which is part of an area with three wildlife protections.

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It believes there would be an impact on businesses, with noise and property values blighted, and that the turbines would affect birds and bats and be visible from public footpaths.

Mrs O’Brien said: “This is a rural area and tall, white, moving elements would not complement the landscape in anyway.

“The villagers are strongly opposed to this application, and I support them.

“I fear that the essence of Levington, its popularity with visitors, its ancient church, bracing walks and friendly pub would lose its noted scenic charm.”

Council planning case officer Rosie Dinnen said the turbines “will not be unduly prominent in the landscape and will only be visible from a very localised area”.

n Should the turbines be allowed? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or you can e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk