Wind back in the sails of Hempnall turbine plan

A five-year planning debate over a wind farm scheme in south Norfolk took a new twist after a different developer announced proposals for a four turbine project.

An anti-wind campaign group has been reactivated following the news that TCI Renewables has submitted a scoping opinion application for land at Hempnall after buying the site from Enertrag UK.

The Oxfordshire-based company, which already has plans for a three mast onshore scheme on the former Pulham Airfield, is looking to construct four 131m turbines on the edge of Hempnall and will be staging a public consultation event next month.

The site at Bussey's Loke had been proposed for a seven turbine scheme by Enertrag, but was rejected by South Norfolk Council and by an inspector on appeal. Enertrag decided to leave the area earlier this year following lack of support from local people.

Geoff Moulton, chairman of SHOWT (Stop Hempnall's Onshore Wind Turbines), which has more than 1,000 members, said the new owner of the site was also facing a battle. 'We are prepared for another application and we are going to contact our supporters over the next couple of days and relight the fire.

'We will be encouraging our supporters to go to the consultation and see what the plans are about and make up their mind to accept it or carry on the fight. TCI are putting a lot on the conclusions of the planning inspector two years ago, but the evidence is still there against it,' he said.

A public exhibition will be held at Hempnall Village Hall on December 5 from 3.30pm to 7.30pm for residents to find out more about the scheme.

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Peter Forest, project developer, said the renewable energy scheme could provide electricity for 5,200 homes and provide a �16,000 financial contribution to the local community when operating fully.. He added that he hoped a smaller development at Hempnall would prove to be less contentious than the previous Enertrag plans.

'For some people, one turbine is too many, and for those people there is nothing we can do to satisfy them.

'However, we live in a world that is governed by planning legislation and decisions and the planning inspector at the previous inquiry had indicated that it was suitable for some form of wind energy and there is capacity for wind development in Hempnall.'.

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