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Wind turbine bids for East Ruston and Alby, between Aldborough and Erpingham

PUBLISHED: 16:43 06 June 2012 | UPDATED: 16:56 06 June 2012

A planning application has been lodged for two 24.8m wind turbines on north Norfolk farmland.

Applicant John McLeod wants to site the 11kw Gaia turbines east of East Ruston, near Stalham, on land at his Old Manor Farm, on Long Common Road.

In a letter to villagers, Mr McLeod says the turbines would power the farm and farmhouse and would be far enough away from other properties to avoid disturbance.

The application, to North Norfolk District Council, had prompted 22 responses by June 6, all in favour of the scheme, with 20 of the 22 supporters living in East Ruston.

But villager William Ward said he knew of at least 15 other residents, including himself and partner Karen Turner, who would be objecting strongly to the plan.

“These particular turbines have an eye-jarring look - there are no aesthetically-pleasing lines about them. They are horrendously ugly - as if a bloke in a boiler suit had put them together in his garage,” said Mr Ward, who estimated that his Back Road cottage, which currently overlooks fields and distant Happisburgh Church, would be about 400m from the nearest turbine. The two-bladed structures would be mounted on tapering, cross-latticed supports.

He also disputes Mr McLeod’s claim that the turbines would not create a noise nuisance for neighbouring homes: “That’s ridiculous. You can hear the sea four miles away - you can hear a pin drop round here,” Mr Ward added.

He also fears that, if the application is approved, it would open the floodgates and other turbine applications for the area would follow.

“You are starting a precedent,” said Mr Ward. “It he gets permission for these two, there is no reason why he couldn’t fill up his land with them.”

Mr Ward said he was not against renewable energy schemes but believed onshore wind turbines would not generate enough electricity to be truly sustainable. They were “vastly subsidised” and their manufacture and erection involved substantial energy use.

“They are an opportunity for people to make money out of everybody else,” he said. “I am already paying for renewable energy through my electricity bill. Unfortunately it’s people like myself and my neighbours who have to bear the consequences of these applications.”

● Toby Mermagen, of Manor Farm, Alby, has submitted a single turbine application for an Alby Farming Company site between Aldborough and Erpingham.

The pale-white wind turbine, a 50kW Endurance E-3120 model, would measure 34.2m to blade tip. The proposed site is on land south of Town Green.

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