Residents and campaigners are shocked after signs indicating the location of a proposed wind farm have been stolen in a series of raids across the Loveden area.
Campaign group reVOLT and its supporters raised money to print banners showing where the intended industrial scale wind farm at Temple Hill is located, but now eight signs have gone missing from five different locations.
Concern has been raised not only by the thefts but by the trespass, with signs being taken from residents’ gardens during the night or while they were out.
Hugh Wilson of Stubton, from whose property a banner was taken, said: “We have opposed this entirely unsuitable planning application by RWE npower to erect five huge industrial wind turbines in this quiet rural area.
“Local people raised money to print and erect some signs to show exactly where the site is, as the developers have used different names in their communications and not everyone knows the precise location of Temple Hill. These have been mounted on local residents’ private property.
“Over the last few weeks, perhaps as the decision for the planning application draws near, they have been removed. I can only assume pro-wind activists are responsible. As this action is trespass and theft, I cannot imagine that RWE would sanction it,” Mr Wilson added.
Police have been notified of the incidents which residents describe as ‘very unsettling’, particularly given the apparent use of pliers and other tools to take down the signs, while reVOLT said it ‘smacks of desperation’ as the decision on the site approaches this summer.
Another affected householder, Muriel George from Stragglethorpe, said: “We have prominently displayed these banners provided by reVOLT because we were dissatisfied with the poor answers given by RWE during the planning process.
“Stragglethorpe will be devastated by the massive disruption and danger of the construction traffic should this go ahead.”
Paul Miley, spokesman for reVOLT, described the removal of the signs as ‘undemocratic’, and added: “We view this action by a tiny minority as actually strengthening our argument. These massive structures if built would be visible from over 30 miles away.
“Resorting to stealing a few small banners cannot hide that this is a wholly inappropriate development for such a rural setting.”