Monthly Archives: April 2014

Giant Wind Turbine Proposal Meets Resistance at Public Meeting

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.

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Great Bentley and Alresford join forces on crime prevention initiative

Two Essex Village of the Year winners have joined forces to fund a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO). The officer will work in Alresford and Great Bentley. This is believed to be the first arrangement of its type in Essex.

The initiative was prompted when Essex Police made it clear that it is looking to refocus its PCSO resources away from rural communities to areas of greater need.

Alresford has had a dedicated PCSO for 7 years and became concerned that it would lose this service. PCSO Louise Cox has developed an excellent working relationship with residents and local businesses in Alresford and has made a positive impact on levels of crime in the village. In the UK we are told that it is often the fear of crime that is greater than the actual level of criminal activity in a locality. Alresford Council Chairman Ernie Osborne said the presence of PCSO Cox has contributed in this regard. Local residents have become used to seeing her go about her work in the village and that provides a sense of security.

Great Bentley Parish Council when approached by Alresford Parish Council spent some time investigating the matter. Councillor George Wright Chairman of the Sub Committee formed to look in to this matter said that Great Bentley Councillors were very impressed by PCSO Cox when they interviewed her and I am confident that she will be able to assist to address the issues in Great Bentley and will make a positive contribution to community safety.

The joint agreement is set to run for one year initially when it will be reviewed.