Plans for two giant wind turbines could be approved next week - 10 years they were first refused by councillors.

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The application by energy firm Ecotricity for the two 100-metre turbines on agricultural land at Wood Farm, Church Lane, between Bradenham and Shipdham near Dereham, has led to a bitter wrangle with a number of appeals and inquiries and a High Court judicial review.

On Monday Breckland’s planning committee will be recommended to grant permission and a report from officers says “there would be no unacceptable impacts on the local area with regard to cultural heritage, landscape, visual amenity, aviation safety/radar and protected species.”

Members will also be told that issues of noise and “shadow flicker” have been dealt with by the applicant.

Ecotricity spokesman Nick Osbourne, said: “It has been a long journey since our original application and we are pleased the planning officer shares our confidence in the new proposal.

“Of course there have been some concerns, but we have had great support from the community and our new plans reflect changes suggested by a local resident who was opposed to the original proposal, and previous concerns around noise have also been remedied in co-operation with local people. We now look forward cautiously but hopefully to Monday’s decision.”

Ecotricity claims the proposed turbines will provide enough green energy to power over 3,300 homes every year.

If approved, Ecotricity’s Green Britain Fund would allocate a fund of £4,600 every year which local people can apply for, a total of £115,000 over the 25 year lifespan.

But Stephen Kite, chairman of the Campaign Against Turbines in Shipdham and Bradenham, said: “Capita, the agency Breckland employ for planning, have inexplicably recommended acceptance, contradicting the previous three rejections by Breckland, when planning was under its own auspices, advising councillors to ignore their own clearly-stated policies and crystal-clear legal rulings.

“The government has said it is committed to localism. One of the key definitions of localism it gives is ‘to empower communities to do things their way by creating rights for people to get involved with, and direct the development of, their communities.’”

Mr Kite added: “We are the community who would be directly and adversely affected by turbines erected too close to our homes. We have no intention of bowing to the tactics of repeated applications exploiting planning law that Ecotricity continues to employ to browbeat us into submission.”

Bradenham and Shipdham parish councils both object and in its submission to the committee, Shipdham council said: “These applications have been received for many years, with no material difference, and each application has caused Geoff Hinchliffe, who leads the pro-wind farm group, Challenge Against Nimbyism in Shipdham (CANIS), said: “Alternative energy sources can help to alleviate the growing energy crisis and this application has our full support. Our local group was founded to counter the disinformation and scaremongering triggered by the initial proposal: we are convinced that those exaggerations have been dispelled, and that legitimate concerns have now been met. We also believe that the local anti-group, as a single- issue group, does not represent the opinions of a majority in the village.”

English Heritage has asked for the turbines to be removed at the end of their operational life and the Ministry of Defence has no objections subject to a series of conditions.

The Environment Agency and Natural England have not objected but CPRE Norfolk is opposed to the plan and said: “The visual effects of the turbines proposed will be both significant and detrimental to the landscape of Shipdham and the surrounding countryside, near and far.”

Breckland officers are asking for a large number of conditions to be attached to the planning permission relating to issues such as wildlife, noise, lighting and highways.

Monday’s meeting will be the latest twist in the decade long saga.

Breckland refused permission in 2002 due to the impact on the landscape and traffic concerns.

The applicaton was refused on appeal a year later due to potential noise problems and in 2005 a new plan for two smaller turbines was turned down by Breckland as there were concerns about civil aircraft safety.

But an appeal in 2006 was allowed and the inspector highlighted that it tied in with the government’s energy policies.

However, that appeal decision was quashed at the High Court and it was referred back to the Planning Inspectorate.

*The Breckland planning meeting is being held at the council’s committee suite at its Dereham offices on Monday. The meeting starts at 9.30am but the turbines item will not be heard before 1.30pm.

13 comments

  • The planners are unelected. The elected councillors views should take precedence and they should reject the subjective views of the planners.

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    andy

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

  • Excellent news! Shame that this has been delayed for so long.

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    DrJB

    Thursday, July 5, 2012

  • Sayitasitis, you have made the classic mistake of a.) Providing no references to back up your figures b.) Your calculations regarding costs of energy production from a nuclear source fail to take factor in the life cycle of the spent fuel and waste and how this is dealt with. The radioactive waste industry is worth billions and where do you think the money for that comes from? Oh yeah, from us, the taxpayer. So based on your own argument, with a little tweaking, onshore wind energy is an extremely competitive form of production.

    Report this comment

    norfolkboy15@gmail.com

    Friday, July 6, 2012

  • This is stupidity, again. These things will have no effect on any form of energy production for the UK as a whole as they still need back-up generation capacity for the (many) times they are not working. They will, at best, generate about 25% of what any on the Ecotricity project says they will. They WILL, however, make loads of money for the owners from the relatively tiny amount of electricity they may generate thanks to the absurd subsidies paid to them by the charges placed on your, and my, utility bills. These people do their sums, they KNOW that these things are inefficient, but as long as the income exceeds the expenditure, the net result is profit, at your, and my, expense. UKPLC, however, still doesn't have any more useful electricity (as it needs the reserve generating capacity), just a poorer population with ever increasing utility bills. CPRE are powerful in this arguement so we can hope their objection is substantial. We are fortunate in N Walsham that the ill considered Unity Wind application is now behind us, I feel sorry for those affected in Shipdham.

    Report this comment

    windup

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

  • NB15 You are correct. However nuclear power stations differ in that when they are not be maintained they actually generate electricity! Real quantities too, not some 400ft eyesore struggling to poke out 400 to 500 Kw each, and really only generating £1 coins for its owner, lots and lots, all at the utility bill payer expense. To give you an idea of cost (though I wonder why I am bothering as you won't believe me) Nuclear costs (incl all costs and subsidies) £67.8 per Megawatt, Onshore wind is £146.3 per Megawatt. Great value eh!

    Report this comment

    windup

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

  • NB15 You are correct, we need standby for all forms of generation, all need servicing. That can, however, be put into the equation and allowed for. What cannot be allowed for is the intermittent amount of wind energy there is, so the standby not only needs to equal the capacity, but, even worse has to be instantly available, for example, when the wind drops, as it does. this is a nightmare if you run the national grid, how do you open or close the throttle on, say, Sizewell , just to accomodate the vagaries of the wind. As AC electricity cannot easily be stored in useful quantities, this will always be the problem. As I said earlier, this is stupidity, large fields offshore make some sense as they are in more stable airflows, but, even there, the same problems exist. Single, or multiple onshore turbines only make sense to the owner who has a guaranteed income for the life of these unwanted machines. Many, in the 10's or 100's offshore make some sense, ideally rather than re-inventing the windmill, start to embrace the genius of nuclear!

    Report this comment

    windup

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

  • NB15 You are correct. However, when a nuclear power station is generating it actually produces huge amounts of electricity, not some piddling 400 or 500Kw from a 400ft eyesore not actually doing anything when its not windy. I researched some costs ( I suspect I'm wasting my time here as you won't believe me) but nuclear (incl all subsidies etc) costs £67.80 per Megawatt to produce, onshore wind is £146.30 per Megawatt to produce. Fantastic value and roughly 400Kw per eyesore! And, the cost is roughly the same to us utility bill payers whether or not it is windy thanks to the ridiculously generous subsidies. Ask yourself, if onshore wind was not subsidised would anyone have taken 10 YEARS (see article above) to just get 2 of them? Of course not.

    Report this comment

    windup

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

  • NB 15 Apart from the "submit" button on this website not working and frustrating me into multiple posts, I can assure you I rarely make mistakes, especially classic ones! Irrespective of any arguements, the real way (if you can get PP) to make money right now is to build an onshore wind turbine on your land. 6 or 7 yrs of re-payment of the capital, then 19 yrs (if any of them work that long) of a guaranteed income from all of your neighbours, and the rest of the population's, utility bills. A warm, comfortable feeling for the owner, a continuous tax for all others irrespective of whether rich or poor.

    Report this comment

    windup

    Friday, July 6, 2012

  • Sayitasitis: I think you'll find that all forms of power generation require back-up of some kind. What do you think happens when a nuclear power station is taken off-line for maintenance? As for CPRE, their political persuasion means that they are not a statutory consultee and therefore actually have very little effect on the planning process.

    Report this comment

    norfolkboy15@gmail.com

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

  • For the hard of thinking (which includes the mod) The conglomerate which advises the council, also has a renewable energy agenda....turkeys voting for a xmas ban..simples....or even 'other'..nuff said.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Thursday, July 5, 2012

  • NB15 You are correct. However, when a nuclear power station is generating it actually produces huge amounts of electricity, not some piddling 400 or 500Kw from a 400ft eyesore not actually doing anything when its not windy. I researched some costs ( I suspect I'm wasting my time here as you won't believe me) but nuclear (incl all subsidies etc) costs £67.80 per Megawatt to produce, onshore wind is £146.30 per Megawatt to produce. Fantastic value and roughly 400Kw per eyesore! And, the cost is roughly the same to us utility bill payers whether or not it is windy thanks to the ridiculously generous subsidies. Ask yourself, if onshore wind was not subsidised would anyone have taken 10 YEARS (see article above) to just get 2 of them? Of course not.

    Report this comment

    windup

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

  • These turbines are a waste of time and ALL should be torn down. The money should be spent on sustainable power using waves or the tides. Wind turbines NEVER live up to the hype and produce very little electricity often only 20% or less of the stated amount. Breckland Councillors must support their residents and reject this application.

    Report this comment

    Norfolk Lad

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • NB15 You are correct. However, when a nuclear power station is generating it actually produces huge amounts of electricity, not some piddling 400 or 500Kw from a 400ft eyesore not actually doing anything when its not windy. I researched some costs ( I suspect I'm wasting my time here as you won't believe me) but nuclear (incl all subsidies etc) costs £67.80 per Megawatt to produce, onshore wind is £146.30 per Megawatt to produce. Fantastic value and roughly 400Kw per eyesore! And, the cost is roughly the same to us utility bill payers whether or not it is windy thanks to the ridiculously generous subsidies. Ask yourself, if onshore wind was not subsidised would anyone have taken 10 YEARS (see article above) to just get 2 of them? Of course not.

    Report this comment

    windup

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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