There was standing room only in Great Bentley Village Hall on Monday 7th April when more than 300 villagers came to debate the 360ft, 1.5MW wind-turbine proposed to be built on land just to the south of the village and west of Aingers Green.
The meeting was chaired by TDC Cllr Giles Watling and opened by TDC Cllr Lynda McWilliams, Great Bentley Ward Member.
MP Bernard Jenkin’s Parliamentary Assistant Tom Fairweather attended on behalf of the MP, who has pledged support in opposing the development.
Cllr Michael Talbot of St Osyth Parish Council told the meeting of the successes and failures experienced in resisting the Earl’s Hall Farm development of five 405 foot turbines, which are visible over more than 120 square miles of the Tendring Peninsula and its coast.
Richard Harvey, Roger Adams and Comer Mead who form the Steering Committee described the likely impact on the community of Great Bentley, which is famous for having the largest village green in England. Great Bentley has won many awards over the years, including Great Britain Village of the Year in 2000.
Some houses and gardens would be less than 600 metres from the turbine, should it go ahead, Mr Harvey said, and would be likely to be affected by noise. It would be adjacent to the Local Wild-life site of Bentley Brook.
Mr Adams told the meeting that it would be six times taller than the village church and 15 per cent taller than Big Ben, and would overlook the green.
Mr Mead explained the planning procedure and how residents could express their views about the proposed development to Tendring District Council. Funding from local residents would be needed to pay for expert advisers, he said.
After a question and answer session, Michael Talbot summed up the mood saying that this proposal is by no means a foregone conclusion. The tide of opinion is changing against onshore wind turbines.