Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Thorington wind farm latest

Back in 2008 I was a part of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat executive running Ipswich Borough Council when a decision was taken to look for sites to build wind turbines. This project was proposed by our coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats, but also fitted with guidance from the Government that required local councils to find ways to reduce the carbon dioxide produced per capita in the community as well as a reduction in carbon dioxide from the councils own operations.

At the time I raised my serious concerns about any negative impact on wildlife, particularly bird life, and sought assurances on the efficacy of impact assessments and due diligence with regard to project management. The original report was not site specific, it was about the principles of providing renewable energy.

Since that report, some four years ago, work has progressed on identifying a site and finding a partner. The council chose to partner with Partnership for Renewables, who have now proposed two wind turbines on land owned by Ipswich Borough Council at Thorington Hall. Once the proposals began to crystallise, I began to become more and more concerned that my original concerns were now being ignored by the new administration running the council; Labour took power in May 2011. 

As more information has become available about the effect these turbines will have on the local community, my position has solidified against the scheme. I am sure I am not the only person who was initially in favour of wind turbines, only to become much more concerned as details of the nuisance they are causing in Kessingland become clear. We do not want a "Kessingland" problem here in South West Ipswich.

I was elected to represent the views of the people who live in Stoke Park, and that is what I intend to do. I am consulting local residents to find out what their specific concerns are and I am trying to find an escape route for Ipswich Borough Council to get out of this unwanted project.

The noise nuisance, the "flicker" and the health concerns have me convinced that the best place to build these turbines is in the North Sea. Offshore not onshore. It is time Ipswich Borough Council withdraws from this project and does not try to impose these unwanted turbines on those of us who live in the South West of the town.


  1. You seem to have forgot to mention the Executive meeting held in March 2009- there is no mention of any consultation and you were present and no Cllrs asked any questions and it was agreed to enter into a commercial agreement so “provides Executive with the opportunity to
    get development underway at the earliest reasonable opportunity.”
    You were present at the whole meeting and though questions were asked on other matters on the agenda, no questions are noted on this item or any mention of consultation-
    So according to the minutes you raised no concerns about the turbines and agreed for the lease to be set up to get the development started at the earliest opportunity.
    Residents should also remember that it was your party (and you as an executive member) who agreed to the sale of Kiln Meadow- for housing development.

  2. Councillor Ross
    That executive meeting that you refer to was to agree to go out to tender. I repeat the minutes here below exactly

    160. Wind Turbine Development in and around Ipswich
    Ref No: E/08/82
    159.1 An updated Financial Table was tabled.
    (i) that the proposed approach to securing a developer for wind
    farms around Ipswich on IBC land be supported.
    Reason: That this supports the objectives to reduce the Council’s
    adverse impact on climate change as identified in the new national
    indicator set NI186.
    (ii) that the Head of Environmental Services in consultation with
    the Portfolio Holders for Finance and Environment, Head of
    Planning, Transport and Regeneration Services, Head of Finance
    and Head of Legal & Democratic Services, with other officers, be
    instructed to go out to tender and then agree terms with a
    suitably qualified contractor and enter into a commercial
    agreement with the said contractor on terms generally in line
    with those included in Appendix A and B of the report.
    Reason: That this option provides Executive with the opportunity to get development underway at the earliest reasonable opportunity

    So the actual site was not set out and in fact the lease was signed by an ipswich Borough Officer, not councillor and it became your responsibility when you took over in May 2011.

    And the other point, which you keep missing is, it doesnt matter what I thought about windfarms then. I did not know the truth then, I do now and I am against them.
    When SIT approached me, I was the only councillor to listen to them and look at the evidence they had about Kessingland. Your leader dismissed them as did most of the other labout councillors at the SW area committee meeting. Councillor Ellesmere was quoted in the papaer saying it was a great scheme and that the flicker could be avoided by turning off at the appropriate times. This is a ridiculous statement becasue had he listened to Kessingland he would know they were told the same and it has never happened. and the law seems to be on the developers side. Ellesmere will have no power whatsoever in making that happen.
    You only all started taking an interest when I sent out a consultation leaflet and helped SIT make a noise, just as I did over the dock noise. And that's why Peter Evens switched from voting Labour to voting Tory, because Ben Gummer and I listened to residents concerns and then ACTed upon them, not just give lip service.
    I am not doing this to get votes, I am doing this because I don't want a bloody great 130m wind turbine towering over houses in Belstead village and SW Ipswich residents do not want to have it in their view or put up with the noise (so much for being told by the 'experts' that there will be little noise) or suffer from flicker. Hope that finally answers you.