Family 'destroyed' by protest views

PUBLISHED: 17:34 13 February 2008 | UPDATED: 08:20 02 June 2010

Richard Herbert

Richard Herbert

EXCLUSIVE By Louise Hughes THE family of a farmer who took his own life in the midst of controversy over a wind farm are said to be "destroyed" by the views of a protest group. They made their feelings known through Ian Robinson

EXCLUSIVE

By Louise Hughes

THE family of a farmer who took his own life in the midst of controversy over a wind farm are said to be “destroyed” by the views of a protest group.

They made their feelings known through Ian Robinson, a spokesman for a consortium planning the turbines, of which was the farmer was a member.

Mr Robinson spoke out after the Fenland Landscape Against Turbines group claimed “that the sad end to farmer Richard Herbert’s life” should not be laid to blame on villagers who opposed the project.

Mr Robinson, a spokesman for the consortium considering building 26 wind turbines at Marshland St James, said: “The family cannot believe people in the village can think like this. It has destroyed them. They have lived and worked alongside some of these people for years.”

FLAT claims it should not be made to “feel guilty about opposing such a plan.”

In a statement issued following an inquest into the 47-year-old farmer’s suicide, the group said: “The sad end to Richard Herbert's life should not be laid to blame on the large number of villagers who are against the proposed ruination of their health, homes and desecration of the Fenland views and wildlife!

“Many of us have felt despair and have been depressed and distraught since finding out about the original proposal for 26 turbines almost a year ago!”

An inquest heard how Mr Herbert was suffering extreme anxiety and agitated depression over his involvement in the proposal but had no previous history of psychiatric problems.

But FLAT added that Mr Herbert’s health should have been considered by other developers on the consortium.

The statement added: “Richard Herbert was a kind and caring man and liked by all who knew him and once he knew the poor statistics and possible health issues caused by turbines he wanted out of the consortium.

“Let’s be honest here - the proposed wind farm is not for the 'good of the community' - it is to make huge monies for the consortium and developers.”

The statement claimed that FLAT “was certainly not against people making money but not at the expense of others.

“So please do not try and make us feel guilty for opposing such a plan, there are other towns and villages in exactly the same predicament at this time and they are also fighting their corner.”

Last week we reported an inquest hearing into Mr Herbert’s death which heard how he had seen his GP on a number of occasions in late April and early May, and began expressing suicidal thoughts.

He was found dead on May 21 in the Middle Level drain near his home at St John’s Fen End.

The coroner recorded a verdict of suicide whilst suffering extreme anxiety and depression, adding there was no doubt Mr Herbert intended to end his life.

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