Anti turbine campaigners step up their pressure at Syderstone, near Fakenham

Villagers battling with an energy giant over a wind farm plan held a sponsored walk to boost a fighting fund.

Against Turbines at Chiplow (ATAC) is a group of people in Syderstone and surrounding communities near Fakenham who are opposing plans by E.On for five 100m turbines.

They fear their lives will be blighted if the scheme gets the go-ahead and believe the site too close to homes.

However, E.On insists it would help the region meet the government's renewable energy targets.

It claims the project would provide enough electricity for the equivalent of more than 5,000 homes.

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The company has also offered to provide a community fund to improve local services and help create new jobs.

West Norfolk councillors refused permission but the energy company appealed and a public inquiry is due to be held early next year.

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The hearing is set to last for about two weeks and will also consider plans for another wind farm a few miles away at Jack's Lane.

Expert witnesses will be called by supporters and opponents at the inquiry and ATAC is trying to raise �10,000 to fund a legal team to fight its case.

The Chiplow turbines were opposed by parish councils, North Norfolk District Council, English Heritage and the Ministry of Defence, which is concerned about interference to the RAF Marham air traffic control radar.

As part of the campaign, about 20 people yesterday held a sponsored walk from Syderstone Common around the 4.5-mile boundary of the Chiplow site.

About 30 others joined them at the start to show their support.

Among the ATAC committee is Richard Griffiths, who said: 'We are all concerned about the wind farm. We had a parish poll and 77pc of the village was opposed to it so we have got the support of the majority of people.'

Mr Griffiths said the company was determined to press ahead with overturning the borough council's decision but there was a fighting spirit in the community.

'Small communities trying to resist the huge power and financial resources of companies such as E.On need all the help and support they can get.

'We will carry on to the end and hope it will work out for us. E.On can go on appealing and spend huge sums of money and it is peanuts to them. Every pound we spend takes sweat and toil.'

Mr Griffiths added: 'It is very much a David versus Goliath syndrome.'

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