Suffolk: Pinewood and Belstead communities demand answers over wind turbine threat

CONCERNED residents of two communities on the edge of the town are preparing to do battle over a proposal for two massive wind turbines near the A14.

Pinewood and Belstead parish councils are working together to establish what is planned for land at Thorington Hall between the two villages.

The land is owned by Ipswich council – even though it is in Babergh district – and it has linked up with Partnerships for Renewables to put up two large wind turbines on the land.

They would be up to 130 metres tall.

A public meeting last week attracted more than 100 residents who wanted to find out more about the proposals.

Pinewood parish clerk Sandra Peartree said it was a fact-finding meeting, but that many more residents were now aware of the proposals and were anxious to find out more about them.

She said: “We are hoping to get a meeting with Partnerships for Renewables where residents can come and ask questions. We need to know how the proposals will affect the villages.”

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The company has already had a meeting at Belstead.

Mrs Peartree said the planning application for the wind turbines was expected to be decided in the autumn, and the villages would have a clear response.

Pinewood resident Lynda Harvey-Arnell said she had been concerned at what she had heard at the meeting.

She said: “We had a leaflet come through the door and I thought someone from the family ought to go. When I got back I said ‘we really need to worry about this.’

“The main worries are the noise, which apparently you can hear over 2km, and the ‘flicker’ effect from sunlight through the turning blades. It is something that we need to know all about.”

The wind turbines were first proposed by the former Conservative/LibDem administration at the borough in 2008. A delegation from Ipswich went to look at similar turbines at Swaffham in Norfolk shortly before the change in power at Grafton House in 2011.

Current council leader David Ellesmere said there were still investigations going on and if Partnerships for Renewables were happy with those and the planning application was successful, the borough would be happy for its land to be used.

He said: “Given it is next to a very busy road I don’t think the noise would be greater than that, and if flicker is a problem at certain times of the day the turbines could be turned off at that time.”

n Should wind turbines be built on the edge of Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail