Anti-turbines group denises abuse

A group set up to fight plans for a proposed wind turbine farm in the fens last night insisted it had not been involved in a campaign of abuse and harassment against a consortium of land-owners.

A group set up to fight plans for a proposed wind turbine farm in the fens last night insisted it had not been involved in a campaign of abuse and harassment against a consortium of landowners.

Members of Fenland Landscapes Against Turbines (Flat) said they wanted to set the record straight following claims that it had made death threats, sent poison pen letters and made threats of violence.

Tragically last week a member of the consortium was found dead in a Fen drain. Police believe there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death and an inquest has been adjourned to a date to be fixed.

The family of Richard Herbert, 47, said he had been worried about the industry's future and opposition to plans to build wind turbines.

Mr Herbert, a father of three, was one of a number of landowners hoping to build a wind farm on farmland near Marshland St James between King's Lynn and Wisbech.

He, along with a number of farmers connected to the plan, were sent solicitors' letters two weeks ago.

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The letter, sent on behalf of what law firm Hawkins said were a number of homeowners, warned "Our clients have instructed us to make representations against this development which they are concerned will cause them to suffer a loss of value to their homes and may give rise to risk to their health and well-being."

The letter also stated that if the windfarm went ahead the firm had been ordered to commence court proceedings in a bid to recover any losses through either a drop in the value of their homes or other cause.

Last night Lydon Mason, chairman of Flat, said the group had not wanted to make any comment out of respect to Mr Herbert's family, but following recent accusations it had decided to respond.

He said: "The recent tragic death of Mr Herbert has led to accusations and counter-accusations on both sides of the debate.

"This has led to some unfortunate and insensitive remarks appearing in the press, which have not originated from or been endorsed by Flat.

"As well as the general accusation levelled at the community as a whole, we at Flat have been blatantly accused by consultants of being involved in both the destruction of the wind mast and also alleged harassment of landowners.

"Flat has consistently condemned this act of vandalism and to the best of our knowledge no member of our local community has been charged with this act."

He also said the letter sent by solicitors was not sent or instigated by Flat.

The statement from Flat, added: "We would like to publicly state that we are running a peaceful and legal campaign and the chairman has met police on more than one occasion to discuss both the campaign in general and our recent public meeting.

"We do not and have not ever condoned any criminal act by people opposed to the wind factory development.

"We at Flat would again like to make it clear that our campaign has been one of peaceful protest and has primarily been driven by the need to make the local community aware of the nature of the proposal and the potential consequences for individuals and the environment as a whole."

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