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Dagnam Park Harold Hill campaigners launch petition against wind farms

PUBLISHED: 13:34 17 July 2017 | UPDATED: 15:35 20 July 2017

Wildlife enjoy Bedfords Park. Picture: D Tothill 2009/Havering Council

Wildlife enjoy Bedfords Park. Picture: D Tothill 2009/Havering Council

D Tothill 2009/Havering Council

Two women who launched a successful social media campaign to protect a much-loved beauty spot say they feel “punched” in the stomach at the prospect of wind farms being installed.

Community campaigners Lorraine Moss, Romford, and Jan Sargent, Harold Hill, launched a petition on Change.org after Havering Council included guidance for wind farm proposals in its draft local plan.

The plan unveiled at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, July 12, deemed around 200 sites – including Dagnam Park – within seven wards as most “appropriate” for wind farms.

“Lorraine and I feel as if we have been punched in the stomach but we are fighting fit and it won’t phase us,” said Jan.

“We are ready to pick this up from where it was left with the solar farm proposal, again with strength and determination from our community.”

But the council’s deputy leader, Cllr Damian White said: “The Local Plan only establishes areas where applications for wind turbines could technically be submitted.

“This is not an endorsement by the council of these sites being used for wind turbines.

“We have no plans for wind turbines on these sites.”

But the draft plan shows beauty spots – such as Havering Country Park, Bedfords Park, Pyrgo Park, Dagnam Park – within Havering Park, Gooshays, Mawneys and Brooklands, Cranham, Upminster, Rainham and Wennington, and South Hornchurch wards as most suitable to accommodate wind turbines of small, medium, and large sizes.

But any private developers who submit proposals to install wind turbines in Havering must ensure that they are “located and designed to minimise any adverse impacts”.

The plan also states that renewable energy is crucial in helping the council meet its ambition of reducing carbon emissions and generating cleaner power.

Phil Wailing, who volunteers at Bedfords Park, Broxhill Road, Havering-atte-Bower, shared Lorraine and Jan’s lack of enthusiasm.

“Councillors are completely clueless as to what’s in Bedfords Park, its flora, fauna, biodiversity or wildlife and they’re the people making these decisions,” he said.

“Bedfords Park is designated a local nature reserve and comes under the National Parks and Access to Countryside Act 1949 and was declared a nature reserve in 2008. It’s not there for wind turbines.”

In November hundreds of people gathered outside Havering Town Hall to protest against solar farm plans for Dagnam Park.

Following fierce opposition, the plans were shelved in March.

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