Protesters ‘heartened’ at windfarm response

ANTI-WINDFARM campaigners say they are heartened after a recent exhibition about the plans.

More than 100 people turned out earlier this month to view proposals by Energiekontor UK to erect five turbines at Fenrother, near Longhorsley.

The company hopes to enter a formal planning application next month and said the latest exhibition at Tritlington First School was a chance for residents to see impressions of how the scheme would look and the final proposals before they are submitted.

But the Fight Fenrother and Longhorsley Windfarm Group says local opposition to the plans remains steadfast, with all of the 78 people who filled in its exit poll saying they were against the development.

Chairman Dr James Lunn said: “It was quite a heated evening and it was heartening to see such a display of community, with 100 percent of everyone who answered an exit poll being against the proposal.

“Of the 78 people we asked in the poll, 61 people felt so passionately about it that they filled in a letter to the council calling for a minimum distance to houses to be set for windfarm sites as part of its policies and options report.”

Dr Lunn said he was not impressed by the standard of the exhibition and that there was confusion from Energiekontor representatives about the plans, including access arrangements and residential amenity studies.

And he said he was threatened with legal action for distributing amended company leaflets about the exhibition when he was concerned that it had not been suitably advertised.

“They threatened legal action against me for using their leaflet, accusing me of altering their leaflet and distributing it to lots of people to try to get people along to the display,” he said.

Dr Lunn said that 97 percent of the people surveyed said that they would not have known about the event without the group’s actions.

He added: “We came away from the exhibition feeling really positive about the whole thing.”

Project Manager Sam Dewar said about 110 people attended the exhibition, which had been advertised in a local shop, on parish notice boards, in the village hall, in a local school and online, as well as through articles in the Press.

The applicant is still analysing feedback forms from the display, but Mr Dewar said not all residents were against the plans.

“There were a lot of people there voicing their opinions, but I spoke to maybe four or five people who were not expressing any objection. They were mainly there to find out more information,” he said.

“As with a lot of applications, the voice of the objectors can often be very loud whereas the voice of the supporters is not often heard. That is the reality here.”

Mr Dewar confirmed that solicitors are examining the leaflets distributed by Dr Lunn, but no decision has been taken about the matter.

“We are still considering our position,” he said.”