Windfarm plans scaled down

Plans for a £40m wind farm in the Fens are being scaled down after half the consortium behind the scheme resigned.

Plans for a £40m wind farm in the Fens are being scaled down after half the consortium behind the scheme resigned.

Seven members of the Marshland Wind Farm Consortium issued statements saying they were stepping down.

Remaining members said they intended to press on with the project but any revised scheme would be on a smaller scale to the original farm, which would have had up to 26 turbines, some standing 100m high on land in and around Marshland St James.

A spokesman for the remaining members said last night: “Marshland Wind Farm Ltd regret the named members have

decided to withdraw from the wind farm consortium.”

He said of the remaining members: “They are determined to make sure that the wind farm will be completed, albeit a fraction of the size of that which could have been built. The plans are obviously now being revised.”

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A statement, released yesterday, signed by Philip, Jean and David Didwell, Mary and Fred Judd, Richard Askew and Richard Carter said: “We are, therefore, confirming in writing to your readers the below-named are no longer members of the Marshland Wind Farm Consortium. This will, therefore, mean the turbines planned for our land will not be built.”

Mrs Didwell said: “We've decided to withdraw for personal reasons. With any group of people there are different reasons, we just want closure.”

Fenland Landscapes Against Turbines (FLAT) was set up at a public meeting last month, at which hundreds of pounds was raised to launch an anti-turbine campaign.

The group's chairman Lyndon Mason was not available last night.

No planning application has been submitted to West Norfolk council at this stage for the turbines. But a mast measuring wind speeds has been installed.

Earlier in the year an open letter was sent by the consortium to inform villagers of their plans.

It said they could generate enough electricity for up to 26,000 homes and bring money to the community via an energy fund, which would redistribute some of the scheme's profits to community improvements.

However, there was fierce opposition in Marshland against the wind farm scheme.

The scheme was also blamed for one of Labour's biggest upsets in last week's local elections, when Jack Bantoft, its leader on West Norfolk Council, was beaten in the ward he had held for 18 years by anti-wind farm campaigner David Markinson, who stood as an Independent.

Mr Markinson said: “Obviously on behalf of the villagers I am delighted that it appears people are moving away from the development.

“People have been against this proposal from day one and in my view these people will be delighted with the news.

“There are still several other people involved with the consortium and how this will effect the extent of the project I do not know.”

FLAT has organised a further public meeting for Friday May 18 at Tilney St Lawrence Village Hall at 7pm.

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