Parish poll plea over Hempnall turbines plan

Villagers have called for a parish poll to be held to gauge public opinion over plans for four large wind turbines in south Norfolk.

More than 200 people attended a meeting in Hempnall last night to discuss proposals for an onshore wind farm on the edge of the village.

Energy firm TCI Renewables held a public exhibition last month for its planned development off Bussey's Loke, which has not yet been submitted as a planning application.

However, campaign group SHOWT (Stop Hempnall's Onshore Wind Turbines) has called for Hempnall Parish Council to pay for a parish poll.

Geoff Moulton, chairman of SHOWT, who is also parish council chairman, said that around 98pc of the people that attended Monday's meeting were against TCI Renewables' proposals for the 131m-high wind masts. However, a parish poll would give the developer and decision makers at South Norfolk Council 'incontrovertible evidence' of how many residents are opposed to the scheme.

He added: 'Hempnall and the surrounding villages have been fighting proposals for a windfarm since 2006.

I am delighted that Hempnall Parish Council was able to see a visible demonstration of the strength of feeling in the village and the surrounding area about this unwanted proposal. The main areas of concerns raised included visual impact, effects on wildlife and footpaths.'

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'It looks like TCI certainly will have a fight on their hands. This company and the local landowner should now step back from trying to despoil our local landscape.'

Bruce Hutt, TCI Renewables director, said today said that the company planned to submit a formal planning application in the second quarter of this year.

The company said that the turbines are expected to produce enough electricity to power the entire village of Hempnall, or approximately 5,200 homes and reduce carbon emissions by around 9,900 tonnes per year.

The developer also plans to provide the area with �16,000 funding annually from revenue generated by the turbines.

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