Fears for character of Palgrave

PUBLISHED: 07:54 20 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:58 12 July 2010

Fears have been raised that the character of a Suffolk village is being put in danger by plans to generate electricity at a community centre site.

Fears have been raised that the character of a Suffolk village is being put in danger by plans to generate electricity at a community centre site.

Community leaders in Palgrave spoke of their delight earlier this month after being shortlisted to receive funding from a regional carbon cutting initiative.

But a villager accused Palgrave Community Council of being “deceitful” this week after claiming that many residents had not been informed of proposals for a wind turbine at the edge of the community centre's playing field, off Rose Lane.

Adrian Wilmshurst, who lives near the site at Lows Lane, said the proposed 18m high structure would “drastically” affect the area. He added that some local residents were angry that they had been “misled” by community centre officials to support the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) Cut Your Carbon scheme without being told of the exact proposals for the wind turbine.

“It is a very rural village and a quiet site and a turbine would cause environmental damage both in noise and visual aspects. But my main concern is that they [Palgrave Community Council] have deliberately deceived the people of Palgrave and have not been upfront,” he said.

Officials from the community centre will be presenting their eco-friendly proposals to a panel of judges next month in a bid to secure £60,000 from EEDA.

Chris Shillinglaw, chairman of the Palgrave Community Council, said that about 120 households had signed up in support of the Cut Your Carbon energy saving initiative and the proposed 11kw turbine would secure the future of the community centre by making it self sufficient and would also contribute to the national power grid.

He added that the organisation would be carrying out further consultation with villagers and a planning application had not yet been submitted to Mid Suffolk District Council.

“We have been canvassing opinion and plans for a wind turbine have been on the cards for the last two years. This is not just a fundraising exercise; we are committed to reducing the carbon footprint of the village.”

“It is all very well saying 'not in my back yard', but this is the 21st century and a village without a community centre does not have a backbone,” he said.

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