Hundreds object to plans for single wind turbine in Hempstead

A plan for single wind turbine in Hempstead has attracted opposition.

A plan for single wind turbine in Hempstead has attracted opposition. - Credit: IAN BURT

More than 600 people are objecting to a wind turbine application near a coastal Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The proposal for the 78-metre high turbine at Selbrigg Farm, Hempstead, near Holt, was submitted to North Norfolk District Council by farm owner Francis Feilden who said he was 'disappointed' at the scale of opposition.

Members of the council's development committee are due to visit the site on June 18.

They could make a decision on whether or not to grant it planning permission on June 25.

There have been 606 objections and 81 letters of support.

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Concerns include its visual impact on the area which includes historical sites; the turbine's potential danger for wildlife including birds and bats; and the creation of noise and so-called 'shadow flicker' from the three blades.

Objectors also question how effective it would be in generating renewable electricity.

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Groups against the plan are Baconsthorpe, Holt and High Kelling parish councils, Historic England and the Open Spaces Society.

Hempstead Parish Council, the district council's environmental health team and conservation, design and landscape manager, Norwich Airport, Ministry of Defence and National Air Traffic Services have no objections.

Mr Feilden, 50, a third generation farmer who lives on Selbrigg Farm, said: 'We need to address this nation's energy production. All forms of renewable energy have their problems. There is no perfect answer.'

He was confident the turbine was in the best location and no houses directly faced it, apart from his own farmhouse.

'Turbines are like Marmite - people either like or dislike them,' Mr Feilden added. 'Everyone is entitled to have a voice.'

If built, the turbine - screened on three sides by trees - would be in a windy area. Its height would not impact on bats and migrating birds, according to Mr Feilden, who added there would be no noise from the turbine.

The applicant claimed it would create enough electricity for 343 homes per year and said £4,500 would be donated annually from profits to community groups during the turbine's 25-year lifespan. Last year Mr Feilden sent out information cards to 477 households about his plans and 38 responded, with 18 supporting and 20 against.

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