Wind farms at Chiplow and Stanhoe granted planning permission today after energy companies win appeals

Two energy companies have won appeals and been granted planning permission to build wind farms within two miles of each other in north-west Norfolk.

Two energy companies have won appeals and been granted planning permission to build wind farms within two miles of each other in north-west Norfolk.

The Planning Inspectorate today announced its decisions to allow E.ON Climate and Renewables UK Development Ltd to build five turbines with a maximum blade tip height of 100m at Chiplow, near Fakenham, and RES UK and Ireland Ltd to build six turbines with a maximum blade height of 126.5m at Jack's Lane, Barwick Hall Farm, Barwick Road, Stanhoe.

Both schemes were originally refused planning permission by the Borough Council of King's Lynn and West Norfolk and had been vehemently opposed by many local residents.

Concerns were raised about several issues including the impact the turbines would have on the open landscape, and to two local heritage sites: Bloodgate hillfort and Houghton Park, noise disturbance, the cumulative impact of the wind farms and fears that pink-footed geese could fly into the turbines.

Objections had been made by parish councils, the RSPB, Norfolk Wildlife Trust, English Heritage, Norfolk Archaeology Trust, the Campaign to Protect Rural England and the Open Spaces Society.

But, in granting the schemes planning permission, the inspector attached substantial weight to: 'the contribution that each scheme, and the greater contribution both schemes together, would make towards addressing the identified shortfall against regional targets for onshore renewable energy and towards the relevant national targets for renewable energy.'

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The inspector concluded: 'On the evidence before me the benefits of both appeal schemes clearly outweigh the individual and cumulative identified harm.

'The location and other impacts are thus not unacceptable as they are outweighed by wider environmental and economic benefits.'

Two campaign groups, Creakes Action for Protecting the Environment (CAPE) and Against Turbines at Chiplow (ATAC), worked together to fight the proposals.

CAPE chairman Jonathan Powell said: 'We were hoping to win the appeal and thought we had a very good argument put before the inspector.

'I do not know if anything else can be done to stop this but we will take advice and see if we have any options.'

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