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Council votes against plans to support wind farms

PUBLISHED: 22:50 28 November 2019 | UPDATED: 22:50 28 November 2019

West Norfolk Council has voted against supporting the creation of onshore wind farms. Picture: Nick Butcher.

West Norfolk Council has voted against supporting the creation of onshore wind farms. Picture: Nick Butcher.

Archant 2012

A council has voted against supporting the creation of onshore wind farms after councillors described the turbines as "noisy" and a "threat to birds".

West Norfolk Council voted against a motion, proposed by deputy leader of the Labour group Jo Rust, which would have seen the council back the Local Electricity Bill.

The motion, put before a meeting of the full council at the town hall on Thursday, November 28, stated: "Councils can play a central role in creating sustainable communities, particularly through the provision of locally generated renewable electricity."

It continued: "[This] would make the setup and running costs of selling renewable electricity to local customers proportionate by establishing a right to local supply."

Ms Rust told the council: "Wind has great potential to benefit our communities and environment.

"Onshore wind is vital for achieving our climate targets of before 2050 net zero greenhouse emissions."

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She added: "Two-thirds of people are supportive of turbines within five metres of their homes but this public support is not widely known.

"We move that the council support the Local Electricity Bill."

But Brian Long, leader of the Conservative-run council, said: "I urge council not to support this motion. I think a large number of us were emailed with this by a lobby group who are trying to get this outcome across the country.

"At this time they can't deliver said lobby to government because we're in the process of selecting a new one.

"I believe this is premature in rural areas of Norfolk where the visual impact of such turbines is far greater."

And Charles Joyce said: "In principle it's a good idea, in practice it can cause a lot of problems."

He added that some residents felt wind farms were "noisy and a danger to birds" and said turbines could "interfere with some flights" if they were "too high and in the wrong place".

Councillors voted on the motion, which failed to pass.

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