Thorington Barn Wind Turbine project

Project background
Ipswich Borough Council is investigating the wind energy potential of land it owns at Thorington Barn, adjacent to the A14.
The site (shown in red on the map) was earmarked for wind energy development by the Council in 2008 and  Partnerships for Renewables has now started detailed site assessments.

The aim of this work is to establish if the site is environmentally, technically and strategically appropriate for a wind turbine development and to develop a project, with the input of local stakeholders, which can contribute towards the UK’s renewable energy targets.

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Project details
Studies carried out to date suggest that the land may be suitable for up to three commercial-scale wind turbines which could generate around 16.5 gigawatt hours (GWh) of green electricity every year, enough to power 3,600 homes.The turbines could have a maximum tip-height of 125-130m (typically an 80m tower with 45-50m blades).

Current activities
In May 2011 Partnerships for Renewables submitted a planning application for a temporary wind monitoring mast (to gather onsite wind speed data) to Babergh District Council. The application reference number is B/11/00488 and it can be accessed on the Council’s planning portal:
http://planning.babergh.gov.uk/dcdatav2/AcolNetCGI.gov?ACTION=UNWRAP&RIPNAME=Root.PgeResultDetail&TheSystemkey=97024
They are also currently carrying out bird monitoring and a range of ecology studies, including bats, and intend to submit a Scoping Report to Babergh District Council in the near future.

Consultation
Partnerships for Renewables are discussing their plans with site neighbours and communities. Their next consultation event will take place on 14th July when they will be hosting a small community surgery in Belstead village hall. The surgery will run from 3pm to 7pm and will provide the following information:
• A map with proposed turbine locations and wireframe diagrams from two local viewpoints – Belstead and Pinewood
• Answers to key questions posed at the March exhibition
• Updates on the studies currently being carried out
• News on the met mast application and the Scoping Report

There will also be a guided site walkover at 7pm.

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11 Responses to Thorington Barn Wind Turbine project

  1. Marcus Dale says:

    We only received notification of the proposal 2nd August 2012. We were never given the opportunity to attend the meeting.
    Our address, at the bottom of Quilter Drive, is quite close to the site planned, and looking at the map, too close to Belstead. Would an application for a block of flats to house 1500 homeless people be treated with the same consideration?? This is the same abhorrent sort of construction anticipated to be sited in an area of listed property. Powering up to 3500 houses is not a significant redeeming factor – probably harnessing Belstead Brook to a water turbine would produce the same without the eyesore and noise nuisance.
    I hope the general consensus of opinion is similar, as at the moment, Belstead seems to be targeted for incongruous development.
    Regards, Marcus

  2. Tom says:

    I wish I lived a bit closer to the site so that I could see them if and when they go up. They represent part of a solution to our hugely inefficient, damaging and unsustainable energy situation. Personally I would much rather live next to a wind farm than the A14, that’s just a personal choice and I realise others would disagree. We have to find more sustainable ways to generate electricity AND use less of it if we are to continue to take it for granted. Offshore wind may be an alternative, but is more ecologically damaging and harder to maintain. More viable than Belstead brook hydro power anyway! 3500 homes use a hell of a lot of kW and that has to be generated somehow!

  3. steve says:

    I have friends with a huge wind turbine very close to their house. They can hear it, especially when it’s windy, and whenever they look out of their window, there it is. But they are very happy with it because they believe that harnessing nature’s abundant energy makes more sense than the old approach of burning fossil fuels, which is damaging our climate (and they will run out soon anyway). They care more about their children’s future than the value of their property (no-one can sell houses nowadays anyway). I can see why people who don’t understand the scienctific facts of climate change and don’t have children or grand children might oppose wind turbines because they think the value of their house is more important than anything else. Although these people sometimes have a loud voice, I think the silent majority takes a more balanced view, like my friends.

    • andy rackham says:

      hello steve,you speak like a complete knob,i take it that you yourself are not looking out of your window and seeing one of these monstrositys. what you say about caring more for your children/grandchildren than the value of your house is a fair comment, however i too care about my child very much. unfortunately he suffers from epilepsy which is triggered off by a few different things but the main one is photo sensitivity and light flicker and as there have been quite a few reports about light flicker due to the sun hitting the blades of the turbines reflecting into peoples houses i am sure you can understand my concerns of having these turbines being so close to my house. i am also a great lover of open space and the wildlife but there are so many other places that they could be put up. maybe you would like to forward your address to the contractors of these turbines so that they could erect one close to your home for you to enjoy.
      regards
      andy rackham

  4. steve says:

    Hi Andy
    As a parent myself I sympathise with you about your son’s condition, but according to this article – http://bit.ly/fiRt55 – flicker is caused by shadows, not reflections. The only way you’d see shadow flicker is when the sun passes durectly behind a wind turbine when viewed from your home. Is this likely to happen?
    Cheers, Steve

    • andy rackham says:

      STEVE,
      With where they are planning to erect these turbines, yes this could be an issue for us especially in the winter months when the sun is lower. It is something myself and my wife are very concerned about and is why we will be opposing the planning permission as we feel we cant rely on it not happening as once they have been put up it will be too late. we are not against wind turbines, infact quite in favour of them but not in resedential areas where it will and has made peoples lives difficult.
      do you live near the proposed site?

  5. steve says:

    I might be able to see the turbines from my house but I’m much too far away for shadow flicker. If I was closer to the site I’d be doing everything I could to ensure my family being wasn’t affected by this problem. Once projects like this start they usually get built unless there’s a problem with wind speed or finance. Just opposing planning consent probably won’t make any difference, but talking to the developers and the council about your concerns now might mean that if they do get built at least you don’t get shadow flicker. Contact details for the developer is in the newsletter on their website here http://www.pfr.co.uk/thoringtonbarn/3272/About-the-Project/ and I found some info on shadow flicker on p.60 of the scoping report.

  6. andy rackham says:

    thanks for that steve. will look into it.

  7. Colin says:

    Hi Andy
    The British Epilepsy Association and the Epilepsy Society have both done some research on wind turbines and found that they’re unlikely to trigger seizures as they rotate below 3Hz.
    http://www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/photosensitive-epilepsy/triggers
    http://www.epilepsy.org.uk/research/windturbines
    http://www.epilepsysociety.org.uk/AboutEpilepsy/Whatisepilepsy/Triggers/Photosensitiveepilepsy/windturbines

    Hope that helps.

    Colin

  8. Rod Cook says:

    I live in Wardley Close and I do not wish to see these turbines from my house and back garden! If they are to go anywhere put them out at sea.
    In today’s copy of The Times there are a number of letters to the Editor about Wind Power, the dash for gas and Britain’s energy policy. One writer says “wind farms only operate at 25% of their capacity because of the vagaries of our weather”.

  9. Brian Bennett says:

    I live in Netley Close and from my house and rear garden have an excellent view to the SW of Ipswich from Jimmy’s farm right across to the woods at Belstead Village. I also enjoy walking in the area and use nearly all the footpaths as I walk from home to places like Alton Water, Brantham, Dedham, Bentley, Capel St Mary, Great Wenham and beyond. I, like others, realise the need for looking into renewable forms of energy. Wind Turbines on land should not be considered where people are living or walking. On my walks I meet many others, some walking their dogs, others just out for a stroll. Those I have talked to about the proposed wind turbines are all against them. Almost all agree that they should be sited off shore. There are plenty of turbines in palce at sea, another 3 to generate the power suggested that the Thorington Barn wind turbines might produce should be considered.
    The views I have at the moment would be spoilt with these Wind Turbines. I am sure I will also hear them and when the sun or moon are in particular positions will see the flicker too. Sorry but I do not want this to go ahead. It’s a pity the people of SW Ipswich, Pinewood, Belstead, Wherstead and other nearby locations were not consulted before IBC agreed to let PfR proceed with considering the installations that they are.
    I thought the IBC land in question was put aside for people to enjoy not become an industrial site where Wind Turbines would be erected. It is going to be difficult to convince all and sundry that the final locations will be sufficiently far from residences and public footpaths. This latter point is significant because if there is a chance that one of the Wind Turbines should fall, it must not be anywhere near a public footpath.

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