Supreme Court rejects Barsham turbine appeal

The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal against building a wind turbine in Barsham.

The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal against building a wind turbine in Barsham. - Credit: Archant © 2006

A long-running battle over plans to build a wind turbine in Barsham looks to have been resolved with a ruling by the Supreme Court.

The application to build a 125-metre high turbine on land at Laurels Farm was turned down by Waveney District Council but was approved by a planning inspector after an appeal by developers Stamford Renewables Ltd in April 2014.

The inspector said that while some would perceive the resulting changes to the landscape as harmful, the turbine would not prevent the public enjoyment of the nearby Norfolk Broads.

However local resident Benji Howell, who lives 500m to the east of the site, said the turbine would dominate the landscape and damage the charm of the surrounding area.

He challenged the decision and took the application to the High Court where it was rejected, before taking his battle to the Court of Appeal, arguing his case before three of the country's most senior judges.

The appeal was rejected again and now the Supreme Court has refused an application by Mr Howell to appeal the order made by the Court of Appeal last November.

Mike Stamford, chief executive of Stamford Renewables Ltd, said: 'This is a victory for combating climate change and it represents a similar style of good news as that emanating from the string of November 2015 industry announcements that East Anglia would become the centre of a wind farm revolution, offshore wind development would bring thousands of jobs to the region and offshore wind power would enable coastal town to reap rewards.

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'The 2MW turbine to be built at Laurels Farm will provide yet more of the cleanest and cheapest energy available and help the region to keep the lights on in 2017 and beyond.'

The Supreme Court refused the appeal because the application 'does not raise an arguable point of law,' and ordered the appellant to pay the Secretary of State's costs of the application.

Speaking after the decision, Mr Howell said: 'It goes without saying that we are disappointed by the court's decision.

'This proposed turbine will inevitably create noise nuisance. It only met ETSU noise guidelines by being literally on the top line of what is acceptable but importantly, this projection was based on the turbine operating in its lowest and least productive setting.

'We will be installing professional noise loggers and any breaches to the ETSU limit, thereby causing noise nuisance to the many properties that surround the proposed turbine, would result in legal action.'

Barsham and Shipmeadow Parish Council is due to attend a meeting with planning and noise consultants today about a stringent noise monitoring programme around the turbine site.

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