Five more turbines for near Fakenham?

Chris HillA green energy company has submitted plans to build five wind turbines on farmland near Fakenham - within sight of two similar projects planned by other firms.Chris Hill

A green energy company has submitted plans to build five wind turbines on farmland near Fakenham - within sight of two similar projects planned by other firms.

Power provider E.On wants to build its proposed Chiplow Wind Farm on arable land between the villages of Bagthorpe, Barmer and Syderstone. Each turbine would have a maximum tip height of 100m, with a lifespan of 25 years.

An application to West Norfolk Council says the turbines would be spaced to minimise air turbulence, placed far enough away from houses to protect residents from noise, while considering all the implications for wildlife and landscape.

But the council has already received 90 objection letters which say the scheme would spoil landscape quality and that insufficient data had been collected on factors like bird mortality and wind speeds in order to comply with renewable energy policies.

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Concerns were also raised over the project's cumulative impact, as it lies within a few miles of the six turbines planned by Renewable Energy Systems between Stanhoe and North Creake, and another seven planned near Docking by West Coast Energy.

A planning statement submitted on behalf of E.On says: 'The proposed wind farm has been developed with environmental considerations at the forefront of both site selection and design.

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'This is demonstrated through a site selection process that ensures sufficient buffer zones from relevant potential constraints including residential properties and potentially-sensitive ecological receptors.

'It is predicted that Chiplow Wind farm will help prevent the release of many thousands of tonnes of CO2.'

If approved, the project would include access tracks, a permanent anemometer mast, hard-standing areas, a control building and underground connection to the National Grid. E.On estimates the wind farm could produce enough green energy for 5,600 homes.

The Ministry of Defence has also objected to the scheme because the turbines would cause 'unacceptable interference' to the air traffic control (ATC) radar 25km away at RAF Marham.

A letter submitted to planners by Defence Estates says: 'Wind turbines have been shown to have a detrimental effect on the performance of the MoD's ATC Watchman radars. These effects include the desensitisation of radar in the vicinity of turbines, and the creation of 'false' aircraft returns which air traffic controllers must treat as real.

'The MoD has taken account of these issues, and has concluded that the development poses a significant risk to current ATC operations.'

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