Troubled poultry giant Bernard Matthews has spoken out about its plans to build three wind farms in Norfolk and Suffolk.
The company hopes to put two turbines on its sites at North Pickenham, near Swaffham, Weston Longville, near Norwich, and Holton, near Halesworth.
It says they all have the potential to generate wind energy and it wants to help the UK increase its share of renewable power.
The poultry producer is still reeling from a 40pc drop in sales following the recent outbreak of bird flu at its farm in Holton and has temporarily laid off 130 workers from its factories in Great Witchingham.
But the plans at Weston Longville suffered a setback today when Broadland District Council asked the company to re-site a proposed mast to test wind speeds on the site at The Old Airfield.
A spokesman for Bernard Matthews said it wanted to work with local communities in establishing the turbines.
He said: “The government is committed to increasing the amount of energy derived from renewable resources like wind in the UK and we believe some of our farms can play a part.
“These sites have also been carefully selected due to their secluded locations to avoid any inconvenience to local inhabitants and the surrounding environment.
“Planning permission is being sought by Bernard Matthews to erect a 50-metre high monitoring unit on each site to evaluate the levels of wind.
“If it is found to be viable to run wind turbines at any of the sites, it would be our intention to apply for full planning permission to erect two turbines.
“Given the increasing world demands for energy and the ongoing depletion of fossil fuel reserves, we believe it is important to take full advantage of the renewable energy sources that exist locally.”
Members at Broadland District Council planning committee deferred making a decision on the Weston Longville test mast, asking the company to resite it in a location on the land where it would be better screened.
By Nick Heath
21 February 2007
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