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Turbines plan blown off course

Plans to build two giant turbines in Norfolk are back to square one after protestors launched a successful High Court challenge.

After five years and two public inquiries costing more than £100,000, green energy provider Ecotricity has had its permission to build the 100m turbines outside Shipdham, near Dereham, quashed by the London court.

The plans have been sent back to the government’s planning inspectorate to be decided – with a chance there may be a third public inquiry.

Lee Hoare and her husband Nicholas, who live next to the proposed site, filed a claim in the court against the approval of the plans by government inspector Chris Gossop in June.

They challenged a condition laid down to protect them from disturbance from the turbines on the grounds it was imprecise and unenforceable.

The approval was quashed after the government decided not to contest the challenge.

Matthew Wells, spokesman for the department for communities and local government, said: “The approval is automatically quashed and will go back to be decided by the planning inspectorate.”

But he said there were indications that Ecotricity might challenge the decision by the High Court.

Dr Hoare, a member of the Campaign Against Turbines in Shipdham and Scarning, said: “It is a ludicrous situation – the site they have chosen means that even Ecotricity agree the turbines cannot run all the time.”

Nobody from Ecotricity was available for comment.

* Breckland Council will discuss retrospective plans by Ecotricity for a 50m-test mast on the turbine site at a meeting at 9.30am next Monday at its council offices in Dereham.