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Victory for anti-turbine protesters

PUBLISHED: 09:00 23 October 2009 | UPDATED: 08:45 01 August 2010

PROPOSALS to build wind turbines to help power a Bernard Matthews factory in Holton have been refused by planners.

The company has submitted plans to build five 100m high turbines on land at the former airfield as part of its multi-million pound investment in green energy for its sites.

PROPOSALS to build wind turbines to help power a Bernard Matthews factory in Holton have been refused by planners.

The company has submitted plans to build five 100m high turbines on land at the former airfield as part of its multi-million pound investment in green energy for its sites.

On Wednesday night members of Waveney District Council's development control committee discussed the scheme which had been recommended for approval by the council's planners.

But following a debate the plans were refused on the grounds that it had not been demonstrated that the level of energy produced would be sufficient to outweigh concerns about the impact on historic assets and the rural aspect.

Local campaign group Westhall Wind Watch has been fighting against the plans ever since they were first tabled.

Speaking to the committee group spokesman Adrian Simpson-James argued that they were not “selfish NIMBYS”, (Not In My Back Yard) however they felt that Suffolk had already contributed enough to the campaign for renewable energy in the UK.

Liz Harvey, a representative of Westhall Parish Council, spoke of how her village had been “somewhat ignored” by both developers and planners, despite the fact that all of the planned turbines were situated within their parish.

She also said that 10 properties in Westhall that would be less than 1km from a turbine had not been listed in the application, and questioned the thoroughness of a project that could omit such details.

She stressed that a major concern for villagers was the noise pollution that may be generated by the turbines

“Westhall is important,” she said. “Not only does it attract many visitors but it is loved by its residents who ask you to turn down this application which would industrialise and destroy something very rural, very tranquil and very rare.”

Last night Mr Simpson-James said of the decision: ““We are delighted not only for ourselves as an opposition group, but we are delighted for the people of Westhall who will not have to suffer these industrial monsters on the horizon.

“This decision was a victory for local democracy and common sense. The district council has had the courage to stand by its policies and principles in the face of government pressure. They have done exactly what they are there to do, to represent the interests of the people of Waveney.”

David Reger, Bernard Matthews company secretary, who spoke in support of the application at the meeting, said the company would consider the written result before making a decision as to whether to appeal.

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