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.