By Stephen Pullinger
Thursday, January 3, 2013
A farmer is urging residents in three Broadland villages to back his opposition to plans for a wind turbine which he says would destroy their quality of life.
Upton Poultry Farm wants to build a turbine scaling 45m high to blade tip – about the same height as Great Yarmouth’s Nelson’s Monument – on its rural site on the edge of the Broads.
Its application was turned down last year by Broadland District Council on the grounds of visual impact following fierce local opposition, including representations from parish councils in the surrounding communities of Acle, Upton and South Walsham.
However, the farm has since appealed to the planning inspectorate over the council’s ruling and the final date for people to lodge their written objections to the scheme before it is reconsidered is next Thursday.
Paul and Margaret Farrow run Whites Farm in The Windle with their son Nicholas and are concerned the turbine would be built less than 300m from their home.
Mr Farrow, 71, who is semi-retired, said: “It would dominate the landscape for miles around and for us it would have a big impact on our lives.
“We would be looking straight at it, the sun would rise directly behind it and we would get the flicker.”
He said he was also worried by low-level noise produced by turbines, which research in the US had shown could cause sleep problems.
Mr Farrow has created two woodland walks – Jubilee Wood and Farrow’s Wood – as part of the North Burlingham woodland walks and he fears the sight of the turbine would spoil these.
Caroline Channing, the partner of their son Nicholas, said: “My big fear is this would be the thin end of the wedge. We have heard that other large landowners are looking in this direction because there is a lot of money that can be made.”
She said concerns over the impact on health of turbine noise had prompted moves in Parliament to introduce legal limits concerning the proximity of turbines to homes – but any outcome would be too late for this application.
Local MP Keith Simpson, who is supporting residents, said that while some onshore turbines were beneficial in terms of the amount of power they generated, he did not favour schemes close to properties that were going to cause problems.
The current plans, drawn up by Ipswich-based firm York Green Renewables, are a scaled-down version of an earlier scheme which envisaged a 77m turbine which would have been almost on the same scale as the spire of Norwich Cathedral.
Joshua Sayles, a spokesman for York Green Renewables, said the farm wanted to build the turbine as part of a longer-term plan to make its operations carbon neutral.
He said a lot of their farming clients were looking at green energy schemes to meet the low carbon demands of the big supermarkets which they supplied.
Mr Sayles said Upton Poultry Farm has solar panels but a turbine was necessary to make a significant contribution to the plant’s energy needs.
Residents wishing to make object-ions should write to the Planning Inspectorate, Room 3109 Kite Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS16PN quoting reference APP/K2610/A/12/2/86523 /NWF