Astronomer is over the moon

Tom Boles (Astronomer) has won a battle over proposals to build a wind turbine on a farm adjacent to his observatory
Tom Boles (Astronomer) has won a battle over proposals to build a wind turbine on a farm adjacent to his observatory
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A LEADING astronomer from Coddenham has won his battle against a proposed wind turbine which he said would ruin his research.

Tom Boles, 67, of High Street, Coddenham, led a campaign against plans for a 15 metre wind turbine to be constructed at nearby Coddenham Hall Farm.

But on Wednesday, after receiving 38 letters of objection from villagers, Mid Suffolk District Council’s planning committee voted unanimously against the idea.

World record holder Tom, who has identified more supernovas than any other astronomer in the world, said the small vibrations from the turbine would have disrupted his telescope.

He thanked people in the village for their efforts in objecting to the plans, calling it ‘a great example of community support’.

He said: “What the turbines would have done is create infrasound, very low frequency sound waves.

“If we get the same constant vibration for a prolonged period of time it can become harmonised and that can shake the telescope.

“Very little energy could create a large movement in the ground. I am using very high magnification in my telescope so just a tiny shift will cause huge problems.

“The least bit of vibration would blur the telescope’s images.

“I had lots of help from the villagers, almost 40 letters of objection from people in the village were collected.

“Coddenham isn’t a big village so to get that amount of support is great.

“The villagers have done a really good job of getting out there and making their cause known. It is a great example of community support and everyone working together.”

Cllr Tim Passmore, leader of Mid Suffolk and ward member for Coddenham, said he was delighted the plans had been rejected.

He said: “When we have world class facilities like the observatory, it is important that we look after them and I was delighted that everybody on the committee recognised that.”

No-one from the farm has been available for comment.