One of the nearest neighbours of a proposed wind farm has lost his chance to object to a mast which is being put up to find out if the site is suitable.
Energy company Enertrag is planning to put up seven wind turbines north-east of Hempnall, near Diss. The proposals, which would be Norfolk’s second biggest onshore wind farm, have caused a storm of protest from villagers.
But with the proposal for a weather mast to test whether or not the site is suitable to be decided on Tuesday (November 7), just one resident has objected to the mast.
South Norfolk Council, which will decide the application, did not write to the site’s nearest neighbours to alert them to the proposals- because it judged that they were too far away.
And although notices about the planning application were put on the road to the south of the site, there were none on the road to the north of the site, in Saxlingham Green.
Tony Woodward, who lives in The Green in Saxlingham Green, said the proposed wind farm would be “a blot on the landscape: “The mast is going to be within Â¾ of a mile of me. In Saxlingham Green there is nothing about it at all. I am very surprised. I am a little disappointed that I have not been able to reply.”
Hilary Battye, the Hempnall resident who has objected, said: “I happen to run regularly so I saw the site notice where it was placed on the corner of the field. Many others may not have been aware of it if they don’t go up there regularly.”
Paul Whitham, South Norfolk Council’s development control service manager, said: “Our consultation on this type of application is to write to everyone within 400 metres of the application site. In this case, the nearest resident to this single pole was over 800 metres away in Hempnall with the nearest neighbour in Saxlingham Green to the north of the site around 900 metres away.
“We put up a site notice on Bussey’s Loke and wrote to the parish councils of both Saxlingham Nethergate and Hempnall. We also consulted the local member for Hempnall, Michael Windridge.”
Hempnall parish council and Mr Windridge have both objected to the mast amid concerns about its visual impact on the countryside.
But the officer’s report to today’s meeting, which recommends approval, says: “The mast would therefore have no impact on any residential properties other than possibly being visible in the distance.”
By Sarah Brealey
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