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Extra time given on wind development

PUBLISHED: 08:00 26 February 2010 | UPDATED: 09:20 01 August 2010

PEOPLE have been given extra time to have their say on controversial plans for a wind turbine development near Beccles.

Waveney District Council is extending the consultation period for the proposed development after the applicant was late in submitting the necessary documents.

PEOPLE have been given extra time to have their say on controversial plans for a wind turbine development near Beccles.

Waveney District Council is extending the consultation period for the proposed development after the applicant was late in submitting the necessary documents.

The council said that its planning team had taken the “unusual step” as it was felt that statutory consultees and members of the public might have had difficulty in accessing details of the applications and therefore need more time to digest the facts and respond.

Stamford Renewables has submitted plans to build three groups of three turbines at Devonshire Farm and Granary Farm, both in Ringsfield, and Laurels Farm in Barsham.

There has been strong local opposition to the scheme and a campaign group called HALT has been formed to fight the plans.

A district council spokesman said: “Due to a delay in receiving documents relating to a planning application for a wind farm at Devonshire Farm, Waveney District Council has decided to extend the consultation period for this and the related developments at Granary Farm and Laurels Farm.

“A target determination date was set for the Devonshire Farm application, but there has been a delay in the council consulting the various statutory consultees, simply because the applicant has had problems supplying sufficient extra copies of the application, as required by the regulations.

“We required the extensive documentation in an electronic format so that we could make it available on our website, but the applicant was late in getting this to us. In addition, the shortage of paper copies meant that until now, they could only be viewed at the Marina Customer Service Centre in Lowestoft and Beccles. For this reason we are extending the consultation period until the end of March.”

The spokesman said the council is now in possession of additional electronic copies of all three applications.

It has just begun the statutory consultation for Devonshire Farm and is now in a position to begin the process for the other two applications.

The council is provisionally targeting the applications for consideration at the April development control meeting, but the spokesman added: “Clearly, given the delay, if we are missing a consultee response that could have a significant bearing on the recommendation, then we will have to delay the committee consideration.”

A HALT spokesman welcomed the news and said: “The proposed development is of such huge importance for Waveney and the surrounding area, that it is right for Waveney to allow adequate time for statutory consultees and local residents to make their views known.”

View the planning applications at the Beccles Town Council office. Documents may also be available for viewing at parish councils in the area.

A date has been set for a public meeting at Beccles Public Hall on Smallgate on Wednesday, March 10, at 7pm about the proposals

Representatives from the Broads Authority, Waveney District Council, the renewable energy company and opposition group Halt are also being invited to attend.

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