Fears over new application for wind turbine at Bodham, near Holt
15:02 27 August 2014
Archant Norfolk 2014
A new application for a single downsized wind turbine in north Norfolk has sparked a fresh storm of frustration and worry among nearby families.
They say the 66m turbine at Bodham would slash property values, ruin the area’s unspoilt beauty and damage the tourism industry.
“We feel we are being ignored,” said 45-year-old Paula Coast who lives about 900m from the site. “About 80pc of local residents are against it.”
An application for a larger turbine 20m larger is in the midst of an appeals process after North Norfolk District Council turned it down.
But its developers, green-energy company Genatec run by father-and-son team John and David Mack, have submitted an application for a smaller turbine at the Pond Farm site.
When the first application was submitted, homeowners started an action group, No To That Turbine.
And with the latest application, the group has sparked a new campaign, Say No To That Turbine Again, distributing 16,000 leaflets to rally support.
Ms Coast, who moved into her rural Gresham home 900m from the site weeks before the first application, said she was concerned for the health of her nine-year-old son, because of low-frequency inaudible ‘infrasound’.
“All of us have had to spend hours and hours and money to find out about turbines. It has been extremely stressful and has been going on for so long.”
Barbara Powell, from West Beckham added: “People who are close have everything to lose. Property prices drop by a third and people who are affected will be in a position where they are stuck and can’t move.”
Writer and journalist Michael McMahon, 59, who lives in Plumstead, said: “It is a simple issue, this is a wonderful part of the world that is in danger of being ruined for no good reason.”
The campaigners also said it would ruin the timeless setting of historic buildings such as Baconsthorpe Castle and set a precedent to allow other turbines, including one proposed for Selbrigg to overwhelm the countryside.
Campaigners claim there has not been proper consultation to allow people to voice their concerns.
There were 1,825 letters written to the district council when the first application for a larger turbine was made, 1,455 were objections.
Currently there are 104 public representations to the latest application, of which 97 are objecting.
Developer David Mack said he had spoken to the district council to agree on the extent and type of the consultation.
He said: “The local consultation has met and indeed exceeded the statutory requirements. The claim that there has not been a proper and well publicised consultation to give people sufficient chances to respond is unfair and unfounded.”