Meeting held over the Bernard Matthews-backed plans for a wind turbine close to Blickling Hall in Oulton

More than 50 people attended a public meeting to discuss plans for a 70-metre wind turbine close to a conservation area village and National Trust stately home.

Turkey giant Bernard Matthews is backing the scheme for the proposed community turbine on a piece of the now disused former second world war airfield in Oulton, adjoining Blickling Hall Estate, near Aylsham.

It is among Bernard Matthews Wind Energy Co-operative projects, which the firm hopes to launch on six areas of its land in Norfolk and Lincolnshire, in partnership with the not-for-profit organisation Energy4All.

During Wednesday night's meeting, representatives from Bernard Matthews, Energy4All and consultants Farmwind Ltd presented the proposals to a packed Oulton Congregational Chapel and answered questions from a mainly hostile crowd.

Opponents raised concerns about the impact on the view from the Grade I listed Blickling Hall, the effect of low frequency vibration on people's health, the noise and the impact on house prices.


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One objector called for an artist's impression of the turbine as seen from the windows of Blickling Hall.

Another argued that Blickling Hall's views were a key part of its design.

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He said: 'When the building was designed in the 1800s the spaces around the building were designed to create effect. That is a major feature of the house.'

Ian Booker, from Farmwind, said visual impact assessments had been made from nine viewpoints in and around Oulton, including the gates of Blickling Hall and would be made available in the planning application.

He said studies had been done to assess the impact on ecology and TV signals as well as the impact of noise, flicker and low frequency vibration and no significant concerns had been found. He said the reports would be published as part of the planning application.

Speaking outside the meeting Sam Booker, a member of campaign group No Oulton Turbine (Not), said: 'Our main concern is its proximity to people's houses. The closest one is 500m away.

'It is an accident of geography that they have got this bit of land. It has only become available because it used to be an airstrip but it is not suitable for this type of scheme at all.'

Bernard Matthews' firm had launched the �7.5m six-site project as part of a series of carbon-cutting initiatives.

Each turbine would be owned by a co-operative of shareholders, including local residents who would be invited to invest between �250 and �20,000 in the scheme.

A proportion of profits would be ploughed back into local causes.

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