Windfarm appeal ‘crucial in preserving the unique landscape’ of North Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 09:28 12 May 2017 | UPDATED: 11:35 12 May 2017

The North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) offices in Cromer.

The North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) offices in Cromer. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2014

A Planning Inspector’s decision to allow two wind turbines to be built at Bodham and Selbrigg in North Norfolk has been quashed.

NNDC Leader Tom FitzPatrick. Picture: Norfolk Conservatives.NNDC Leader Tom FitzPatrick. Picture: Norfolk Conservatives.

In early March, an Inspector overturned North Norfolk District Council’s refusal of planning permission for single turbine schemes at Pond Farm, Bodham, submitted by Genatec Ltd; and at Selbrigg Farm, Hempstead, submitted by Selbrigg Generation Ltd.

North Norfolk District Council decided to appeal against these decisions and began proceedings in the High Court under Section 288 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

As a result of these proceedings, the Secretary of State has conceded that the Inspector’s reasoning was “inadequate” on two counts: In relation to the cumulative impact on heritage assets; and in relation to the application of NNDC Core Strategy Policy EN7, which deals with Renewable Energy.

The Inspector’s decisions have consequently been quashed and the appeals have been referred back to the Secretary of State for re-determination.

Councillor Tom FitzPatrick, North Norfolk District Council’s Leader, said: “This has been a long running battle, but we believe that our actions are crucial in preserving the unique landscape of this beautiful area both for those who live there and for those that visit.

“I would like to think this will be an end to the matter.”

Councillor Sue Arnold, North Norfolk District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Planning Policy, added: “These turbines are in the wrong place and should not be built.”

It is unclear how much the long running debate has cost the taxpayer.

However, the developers remain confident they can reverse the decision.

In a joint statement, Francis Feilden, the Selbrigg applicant, and Genatec, the Pond Farm applicant, said: “Both the Pond Farm and Selbrigg sites are extremely well suited to the wind generation and we intend to continue pursuing both projects through the planning system.

“The council overturned a comprehensive 10 day public inquiry decision on legal technicalities and we are confident that we will achieve planning consent again.”

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