Decision to reject Bodham wind turbine is unanimous

Councillors have thrown out a plan to build an 86.5m wind turbine on the edge of a north Norfolk village.

After a debate that lasted about 90 minutes, North Norfolk District Council's (NNDC) development committee rejected the bid to build a single turbine on the edge of Bodham.

Today's (Thursday) meeting began with the announcement that those in favour and those against would be limited to 12 minutes each in total to make their point.

Introducing the item, case officer Geoff Lyon said there had been a 'significant public response'.

During public speaking time, Ian Shepherd, of Campaign to Protect Rural England, opposed the application and said it would 'alienate tourists' because of a 'significant adverse impact on the landscape and the local heritage of north Norfolk' - an area he described as 'priceless.'

Other objectors said the turbine would 'ruin the lives of innocent people living in its shadow' and were concerned that the estimated figures of its efficiency were not accurate.

The turbine plans were put forward by family-run company Genetec, which said the proposed turbine would deliver enough renewable energy to provide the equivalent electricity for 665 average houses.

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In addition the proposal would have also provided �25,000 over the lifetime of its development towards Bodham Church, Baconsthorpe Church and West Beckham Church. Each would have received �1,000 each per annum.

Mr Shepherd added that he believed the payments to the churches would have been 'very polite'.

Supporting the plans, David Roe, a charted environmentalist who has worked on similar projects in Lincolnshire, highlighted benefits of the project, which included energy security and reducing carbon footprint.

He said the turbine would also 'create a significant contribution to the local rural economy'.

Alan Presslee, a planning consultant working with Genetec, also urged the committee to recognise the need to contribute to renewable energy sources.

He said: 'It should also be noted that the proposed turbine is a temporary structure with a life span of 25 years. We believe it is a scheme worthy of support.'

The debate then moved to the councillors.

Local councillor John Perry-Warnes said: 'This application will permanently disrupt our landscape. We are elected to take care of our area and we have a responsibility to take care of north Norfolk.'

Councillor Michael Baker, also a resident of West Beckham, added that the 'family silver of Norfolk' needed protection and that tourism and farming were the two things that would be most affected by the application.

NNDC's development committee unanimously rejected the bid.

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