Protestors to fight wind farm with tea and cakes

FenRATS protestors in Sutton St Edmunds gathered in front of the landscape they are trying to protect.
FenRATS protestors in Sutton St Edmunds gathered in front of the landscape they are trying to protect.
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Wind farm protestors in Sutton St Edmunds are preparing to take on a specialist onshore developer in appeals court.

Residents have been baking cakes and opening their gardens to raise the thousands of pounds needed to pay for reports and a barrister.

Proposals for Wind Ventures’ Treading wind farm comprise up to six turbines up to 126m high that would, at up to 15MW, provide enough renewable energy for more than 5,500 homes.

Michelle Arnold is one of the protestors in the group FenRATS (Fenland Residents Against Turbines). She said: “We have been fighting this plan from the start.

“South Holland and Fenland district councils objected to it as well as the parish council. We are not a wealthy community but we’ve been raising money, including baking cakes and holding open gardens, since we heard about the appeal.

“Altogether it’s likely to cost £40,000.”

An eight-day appeal begins at The Boat House in Harbour Square, Wisbech, on Tuesday, April 23. FenRATS have called expert witnesses on landscape and residential amenity, noise, cultural heritage, health and sleep disturbance.

Former energy minister John Hayes MP will speak on behalf of his constituents, along with Stephen Barclay, MP for NE Cambridgeshire, and Roger Helmer, MEP for the East Midlands.

Ross Glover, of Wind Ventures, said: “Renewables is playing an important part in investment and job creation during the economic downturn and Treading will be part of this continuing investment. The planning applications were refused by both councils despite planning officers giving strong recommendations for approval, taking into account opinions of experts and an extensive environmental impact assessment.”