A public meeting is to be held at Hempnall in January by the company planning to build a controversial wind farm in the village.
Developer Enertrag UK has commissioned ECON Ecological Consultancy of Norwich to carry out an ecological survey at the site, the winter habitat and ornithological surveys having just been completed with nothing unexpected reported.
The potential environmental impact that the seven industrial-scale turbines would have on the environ-ment is a main concern of protest group Showt (Stop Hempnall’s Onshore Wind Turbines), which last week launched its campaign.
Early in the new year, Enertrag will launch its full consultation programme, allowing the public, local groups and organisations to put forward their concerns, support and objections.
Enertrag will respond to issues raised and explain how they are to be mitigated as part of the environmental impact assessment. This takes place before a formal planning application is submitted, in keeping with South Norfolk Council policy. The company will hold public exhibitions, the first at Hempnall Village Hall on January 18 (3pm-8pm). People will be able to discuss the project in general with Enertrag staff, and wildlife issues with ECON represent-atives. Copies of a DVD giving views from the RSPB, WWF, Friends of the Earth and others will also be available.
A spokesman for Enertrag said its site at North Pickenham, near Swaffham, had now been operating on a pre-handover basis for two months, and the project was very similar to the proposed site at Hempnall. In the first month of operation the turbines had generated enough power to supply more than 1000 homes for one year.
A similar site at Hempnall “would make much of the surrounding area carbon neutral with respect to electricity supply”, and the firm has received support.
Copies of the DVD can be obtained in advance by calling Enertrag on 01379 642564.
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