A bid to streamline wind energy development on an old airfield site in north Norfolk have taken a step forward amid concerns from local residents.

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A 30 hectare area at Egmere, near the former North Creake airfield, between Wells and Fakenham is being earmarked for a Local Development Order which would fast-track schemes relating to offshore wind energy.

North Norfolk District Council’s cabinet has agreed to press ahead with the plan. Now officers will seek official views of local councils, business and public during a consultation in January and February. After the council considers the final report the order will have to be approved by the government.

During public question time local resident Nigel Morter from Bunkers Hill said local residents were not against development in principle, but the scale of it, which was “unprecedented since 1943.” As well as the LDO, there were plans for a solar farm and anaerobic digester.

He said he moved to the area, into the old control tower, because of the character and heritage of the old airfield and was keen to see it preserved.

Peter Rainsford from Wells added concerns that the scheme could have a spin-off for the town and harbour, which was the “icing on north Norfolk’s cake” with its tidal bay, harbour, and marshes which were unlike major commercial harbours.

There were fears large volumes of offshore related traffic could upset the “delicate balance which makes Wells special.”

Cabinet chairman Tom FitzPatrick said the intention was to preserve Wells by shifting the development inland, and benefit the whole of north Norfolk by creating jobs relating to the energy industry development off its coast.

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