Groups up for more South Norfolk wind farm battles

Anti-turbine groups in south Norfolk are gearing up for more battles in the New Year with one wind farm set to go before decision-makers and another being appealed.

Objectors to a three 126m-high mast scheme were celebrating earlier this month after an application at the former Pulham airfield was unanimously refused.

However, Oxfordshire-based company TCI Renewables has pledged to appeal the decision made by South Norfolk Council regarding the site at Semere Green between Dickleburgh, Rushall, Pulham Market, and Pulham St Mary.

The news comes as residents on the other side of the A140 in south Norfolk prepare to air their views on a wind farm scheme at Tivetshall St Mary.

The proposals by Diss-based renewable energy firm Enertrag UK for three 140m-high turbines off New Road and Patten Lane, which were submitted in June, are set to be discussed by district councillors in February.

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But officials from the Tivetshall Action Group (TAG), which was formed to oppose wind mast applications in the area, said they had no fears that the plans could be approved to meet government renewable energy targets.

Eric Kirby, joint chairman of the group, said: 'We consider that there is even more justification to refuse the Tivetshall plans than there was at Semere Green, which has not got the wildlife and footpaths and bridleways that cross the site. This government is just as committed to green energy as the last, but there is a balance between the national interest and the impact on the local population and that has always been the case. When people choose the wrong sites, the national interest does not come into it.'

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No one was available from Enertrag yesterday. However, the company has previously stated that the Tivetshall plans were 'sensitively-sited' and would provide enough green energy to power 5,000 homes a year.

A South Norfolk planning committee voted against three turbines at the former Pulham airship station earlier this month because of the 'unacceptable' and 'overbearing' impact on the landscape and local residents.A spokesman for TCI Renewables said the company had 'strong grounds' to appeal the decision.

Lucy Melrose, chairman of the 4Villages group, which opposed the plans, said she was not surprised by the company's decision.

'I do not think it is a sound decision to appeal, but it is how it goes in these situations. Having said that, we are absolutely convinced that their appeal will be refused.'

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