FENLAND: Parish council chairman issues warning over wind turbines

PUBLISHED: 19:36 31 March 2008 | UPDATED: 08:23 02 June 2010

A CHAIRMAN of a parish council has warned residents of another Fenland village that a decision over wind turbines could be the most important one ever taken in their community during their lifetime. Councillor John Welcher who personally supported the ere

A CHAIRMAN of a parish council has warned residents of another Fenland village that a decision over wind turbines could be the most important one ever taken in their community during their lifetime.

Councillor John Welcher who personally supported the erection of wind turbines at Doddington is accusing developers of being "less than economical with the truth".

After a meeting of FLAT (Fenland Landscape Against Turbines) at Marshland St James, Cllr Welcher said: " I was trying to tell the people of Marshland that whether or not to have a wind farm on their doorstep is the single most important decision made in their community in their lifetime and they must take it very seriously."

He said: "We supported the turbines at Ransonmoor but looking at what we know about them now we have changed out opinion and we think there is enough in Fenland.

"They are not as good as we were led to believe and we don't want Fenland to be filled with them. They have changed our outlook to one that is partly industrial.

"I don't think we were deliberately misled but they were less than economical with the truth over how much electricity they produce and how they would blend in with the landscape. They are an eyesore and they don't blend in."

Cllr Welcher says if he and other councillors had been more aware of the impact of the turbines and the amount of electricity they would actually generate, the decision may have been different.

He said: "It is more than possible that we would not have supported them. I did support it personally and I will have to stand by that but we certainly don't want any more. We feel Fenland has done its bit but we won't support any more."

Members of the audience at the FLAT meeting said they felt cheated by developers who had cancelled the consultation event at Marshland St James and there were demands for it to be rescheduled.

Marshland St James Parish council is holding its open forum on Monday (April 7), at 7pm at the Methodist church and villagers are being urged to attend to make their views known.

PANEL

RECOGNITION that it may be time to scale back wind turbines in the Fens came this week from the former leader of Fenland Council, Councillor Alan Melton.

He said he was the driving force that helped secure the first turbine in the district and "I welcome those that have been built, and I am pleased Fenland is 100 per cent efficient in providing electricity for Fenland."

But Cllr Melton, currently deputy leader, said: "My own view is that enough is enough and it's time to have a rethink. We should say to the authorities that matter that we in Fenland have done our bit, and it is time for other areas to take their fair share as well."

He said he was expressing a personal view but it was perhaps time to consider other forms of renewable energy such as incinerators.

"My own view has changed and I never thought I would find myself in bed with Trevor Watson (a leading wind turbine opponent) but although I am not a member of any planning committee if I was I would find it very difficult to support any further applications.


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