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We have objected strongly to revived plans from Stamford Renewables Ltd for a wind turbine with access roads and associated works in Suffolk’s beautiful Waveney valley. The society has written to Waveney District Council urging it to refuse the application.
The development, at Laurels Farm, Barsham, near Beccles, will destroy part of High Common on either side of the ancient, winding route known as Clarke’s Lane which runs from the B1062 at Barsham south towards Ilketshall St Andrew. The turbine will be highly visible from the many paths in the area as well as from the Broads.
Says Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary: ‘The Waveney valley is quiet, intimate countryside, it is secret Suffolk, unsung but immensely beautiful. The turbine would do untold damage to the landscape and to people’s enjoyment of it.
‘The access from the site would involve a proposed exit route across High Common to gain access to Clarke’s Lane. This common is in effect highway verge, it is narrow and sensitive with public rights to walk there, and it is an important element in the history of the area. The development would require the grassy common to be made into a surfaced road, totally ruining its character.
‘Before such development could take place on common land, the developer must obtain the consent of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, under section 38 of the Commons Act 2006, in addition to any planning consent.
‘The turbine would tower over those using nearby Gull Lane byway 16, and a linking byway. It would overshadow these routes and the noise would disturb walkers and could frighten horses, putting horse-riders at risk. Suffolk County Council’s rights-of-way officer has commented that the distance of the turbine from byway 16, at 90 metres, “is significantly less than our preferred standard”. The turbine would also be an eyesore from the Angles Way, a 94-mile recreation route between Great Yarmouth and Thetford.
‘It is hard to quantify the damage that would be caused by this turbine and its associated access road and other paraphernalia, but clearly the lovely Waveney valley is the wrong place for it. We sincerely hope that Waveney District Council will reject this application,’ Kate concludes.
An earlier application for a larger development here was withdrawn by the applicant last year.