Thursday, 8 November 2012

Thorington Wind Turbine Latest and What we Must Do

The SW area committee met last night and top of the agenda was the Thorington Wind Farm debate and presentations from both Peter Evans, a founder of Stop Ipswich Turbines, and the developers PfR.

Ipswich Spy summarised nicely on their website as follows:

Peter Evans, the Co-Chairman of Action Group SIT, told the meeting of the damage wind turbines would do to the lives of those living within the affected area, which SIT estimates is up to 2km. He pointed out that many countries do not allow these turbines to be built within 2km of people’s homes, even in Scotland this is an advisory limit. He raised the spectre of “flicker” which has risks for those who suffer from epilepsy, migraines and even for the general public. And he explained why the noise issue was not one that should be ignored, detailing how the turbines will be more disturbing than the A14.
Susanna Miller, spokeswoman for PfR, responded, explaining to the meeting that PfR were developing their plans for a maximum of two wind turbines for the site. The design was being finalised and PfR hope to hold further consultation events before making an application to Babergh District Council. She told the meeting that the worst consequences of flicker can be mitigated during the design process and that the turbines could well be much quieter than residents expect during normal operation.
The exact location of the turbines within the site has not yet been determined, but PfR committed to informing those residents who were likely to be directly affected by the issue of flicker once they have determined which properties these will be, and advising which mitigating factors are likely to be introduced for them. PfR expect a planning application to be submitted to Babergh DC in the Spring of 2013, and an Environmental Impact Assessment will be published at the same time.

I also challenged PfR regarding the fact they stated that 'New turbines' do not make much noise, because if that's the case then are the wind turbines at Kessingland different from the ones they are planning for this site? When asked, the room filled with gasp noises when they confirmed that they did not need to submit the details of the turbines in their planning application to Babergh, just some general information that gives a good brief on maximum and minimum criteria. They also said that Kessingland had a unique problem with noise (sorry didn't they deny there was any noise here? Or have I remembered it wrong?) and that 'noise' was a 'complicated' subject.  Not sure I understood why it should be so and how they would learn lessons in order for it not to happen here.
Oh, and apparently  the Scottish windfarm blew up when it was very windy!!! That's a bit like saying 'it's Ok, my car blew up because I put too much petrol in it'!

Although i have established that  lease will not be signed with PfR until the plans are passed, what IBC has signed is the option to do so within the next 3 years.
IBC as an authority is also not allowed to be seen to go against the proposals in a public way so that leaves us councillors to try to do something.
What we CAN do;
What the Labour administration could do is ask for an expert barrister's advice on exactly how much we would have to pay out in compensation, if we withdrew the options agreement. Perhaps 5 figures is worth paying the price, as we could find ourselves way down the line paying out more in compensation for negative affects to health etc. I think the Labour administration should look into this straight away and I hereby call on them to do so. I will also ask for this by way of e-mail to the leader of the council David Ellesmere.
Secondly we must now get going in readiness for Babergh planning committee. We need proper recorded measurement of the issues in Kessingland to take as proof and shore up the case for Babergh councillors to refuse PfR planning application.
We must go forward with solutions now, not look at how we came to this point, for it's fair to say that most of the people who were FOR windfarms in principal, are starting to feel a little duped and are finding the information and experiences of the Kessingland residents a real eye opener.
So everyone who will be affected by this must start building up petitions, momentum, facts, figures for the Babergh planning application 
because leaving all that just to the developers is like trusting a spin doctor to give all sides of a story.


  1. Thankyou for communicating on this subject whilst all the Labour Councillors in the SW have been gagged. It is clear who is fighting for the residents and who is not.
    Please post any news on this Babergh application.

  2. To respond to Stephen`s comment no Labour Councillors have been gagged,Fellow Councillors and myself have attended meetings with members of Pinewood parish council to discuss the issue.I also attended the SIT meeting in pinewood.I have responded to countless E-mails on the subject and have discussed the issue with any resident who has approached me.As it has been repeated many times Babergh will make the decision on the planing application not IBC.As ward councillors we can make represntations on our residents behalf and If a resident requests me to do that I am more than happy to

  3. Hi Glen
    Thanks for your comment. I think what Stephen meant was that I am the only one that has openly stated I am against this particular windfarm and the only one that is actively backing SIT. The IBC meetings are great for everyone to get their feelings aired but i don't believe will achieve anything other than status quo. The resident were not impressed with PfR and I cant blame them. There was a lot of vagueness and i was stunned about the answer to my question regarding teh design of the turbines not being decided until after planning permission given, nor knowing exact site which makes it hard for us to measure scale of flicker etc. We know what's going on.
    There is one thing that your administration can do and that's to ask legal expert to estimate what the likely cost would be for pulling he plug before Babergh planning decide.

  4. "There is one thing that your administration can do and that's to ask legal expert to estimate what the likely cost would be for pulling he plug before Babergh planning decide."

    I agree but, given the demonstrable lack of concern Ipswich Labour show for local residents and the complacency shown by their councillors living miles across town, I won't be holding my breath.

  5. Have you actually been to Kessingland to listen to the turbines Nadia?

  6. That's not point, although I have been near them. Residents say they are quiet sometimes but other times not plus, and more importantly, it is the low level noise that they find difficult to live with. The residents would not bother coming to Ipswich to tell all our residents that it's hell, if that wasn't the case!