January 31 2015 Latest news:
Donna-Louise Bishop, Reporter
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Almost 200 people turned out to air their views at a South Norfolk Council meeting today (Wednesday) following an application for three controversial wind turbines in Hempnall.
A round of applause could be heard outside the council chambers when it was decided to refuse the plans to see TCI Renewables bring the turbines to land off Bussey’s Loke.
At the end of last year the applicant referred judgement on the scheme to the planning inspector because the council had not issued a decision within eight weeks - taking the application to a non-determination appeal.
And at today’s meeting councillors voted to refuse the application following concerns over landscaping, heritage and noise.
Vice chairman of Hempnall Parish Council, David Hook, branded the plans as “inappropriate”.
“The turbine site is very rural and tranquil,” he said. “The turbines do not respect the intrinsic beauty of the landscape.”
Representation from other parish councils Topcroft, Shotesham, Woodton and Saxlingham also spoke at the meeting and highlighted reasons for objecting to the plans which including criticism over the height of the turbines, traffic disruption to the B1132 and Church Road junction and fears over noise disruption.
Tasburgh and Morningthorpe parish councils also opposed the application.
Chris Laxton of Stop Hempnall’s Onshore Wind Turbines (SHOWT) cited issues over the ecological and visual impacts and emphasised the importance of local response.
The plans for the site, known as Streetwood Wind Farm, would see three 126m-high turbines on the edge of the village - which is almost the height of the London Eye - which TCI Renewables believe could provide enough renewable energy for 5,200 homes.
Supporters of the project included a resident who had lived in Hempnall for 32 years. He said that action needed to be taken on climate change.
“The need for renewable energy has become an important factor. I’ve always been in favour of wind turbines since their introduction to the UK.
“I believe Streetwood, although small, would play a part in our future energy supply.”
A public enquiry will follow in March.