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Councils battle over wind farm scheme

PUBLISHED: 10:38 16 September 2009 | UPDATED: 08:31 01 August 2010

A PLANNING inquiry is set to open next week into a controversial wind farm scheme in south Norfolk.

Proposals by Enertrag UK for seven 125m high masts at Hempnall were unanimously refused by South Norfolk Councillors last year.

A PLANNING inquiry is set to open next week into a controversial wind farm scheme in south Norfolk.

Proposals by Enertrag UK for seven 125m high masts at Hempnall were unanimously refused by South Norfolk Councillors last year.

But the Diss-based renewable energy company is set to make a fresh case for the wind farm at Bussey's Loke when a planning appeal starts on Tuesday.

Officials from Enertrag say that they have carried out extra environmental assessments and resolved aviation and highways issues ahead of the inquiry.

Michael Windridge, district councillor for Hempnall, who has been leading the campaign against the turbines, said South Norfolk Council and Hempnall and Saxlingham Parish Councils had recruited “formidable” legal teams for the eight day appeal.

“There is going to be the mother of all legal battles to be fought across the council chamber in Long Stratton next Tuesday when the planning inquiry begins.”

“South Norfolk Council, as the democratically elected planning authority, unanimously rejected Enertrag's application on the grounds that the developer has chosen a totally inappropriate location and that the gigantic industrial scale turbines would have a detrimental impact on the local landscape,” he said.

The plans received more than 600 letters of objection and 62 in support last August. District councillors refused the scheme because of the impact on the landscape and Norwich International Airport, insufficient visibility at the junction of the B1332/B1527, and it was contrary to planning policies.

Enertrag UK claims that the proposed wind farm would produce enough electricity for over 7,000 households, the equivalent of more than 20 surrounding villages.

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