Turbine plans for Great Yarmouth countryside rejected

Controversial plans for four giant wind turbines in the midst of two scenic Norfolk coastal communities have been rejected by a government planning inspector.

SLP Energy wanted to construct the 105m spinning towers on farm-land between Hemsby and Ormesby, near Great Yarmouth.

It was turned down by Yarmouth Borough Council in December which said the turbines would dominate the sensitive landscape, just metres from the boundary of the Broads National Park.

Lowestoft-based SLP, which has been taken over by Dutch engineering giant Smulders, has now lost its planning appeal against the council's decision.

In dismissing the appeal the inspector noted the 'discordant' impact of the towering turbines on the 'simple, attractive, landscape' and the likelihood they would spoil people's enjoyment of gentle Broads' waterways.

It should bring to an end a three year saga dominated by letters, petitions, meetings and exhibitions during which pro- and anti-turbine campaigners claimed the upper hand, and the most support, at one time or another.

Shirley Weymouth, whose borough council ward includes Hemsby and who was instrumental in organising a series of packed public meetings said: 'This is fantastic news.

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'It is the best Christmas present for all the people who didn't want it and proves that sometimes you do win and that you cannot always take a defeatist attitude.'

Bob Reynolds, chairman of Hemsby Parish Council added: 'This will please a lot of people, although there were a lot who were for it as well.'

In a six page report the planning inspector says the turbines would 'unacceptably change' and result in 'material harm' to the landscape - despite recognising the benefits of renewable energy.

Senior planning officer at Yarmouth Borough Council Dean Minns said SLP could challenge the appeal's dismissal in the High Court.