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People urged to air views  

Opponents and supporters of a four-turbine wind farm which could be coming to agricultural land between two villages have been urged to speak out.

The rallying call was made this week by Great Yarmouth MP Tony Wright who said he was aware of a range of concerns from television reception to spoiled scenic views.

It came as SLP the Lowestoft-based company behind the scheme between Hemsby and Ormesby St Margaret revealed it had received just six requests for information packs since it held a public exhibition three weeks ago.

Mr Wright said the plan had triggered an “amount of panic” and that he had met with SLP urging them to answer public concerns about the four giant turbines, each almost as tall as the London Eye.

He said: “I support the concept of renewable energy be it wind farms, wave power or bio-fuels but it should not impact dramatically on other people’s lives and become a nuisance.

“It is the responsibility of the planners and the company to put people’s minds at rest. The fact is we are going to have large structures and people are worried about noise and television disturbance. And it is also a case of ‘Should we have them in our back yard?’

“We get very few complaints about the offshore wind farm because it does not create a nuisance factor. When you have an onshore one it does cause concern. People must make their views known though the consultation and copy me into their correspondence.”

Mr Wright said the crucial final decision would be made by planners but that it was up to SLP to convince people that their turbines would be good neighbours, adding: “The consultation should be an open process.”

Last night SLP communications and marketing manager Kerry-Leigh Bradfield said the level of feedback had not been as large as expected. Completed questionnaires were still coming in and the company was sifting through the responses, she added, but since the exhibition there had been half a dozen requests for information packs. Opinion she said was mixed but mostly supportive.

She said: “I am sure this is a topic that will continue to play on people’s minds for a while. As with any developments whether it is on shore or off shore it is a controversial issue and not the sort of topic that dies away overnight.

“We have not said at this moment that we do intend to submit a planning application.

“We are still reading through the questionnaires and assessing the comments and suggestions made. A communications report outlining the main findings of the public exhibition will be included in the Environmental Statement, should we submit a planning application.”

Peter Warner head of planning policy at Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: “We are awaiting the outcome of the consultation. We have policies for the siting of wind farms and we would have to assess it against that. There is always the possibility that they will not go ahead or that they will change it, so it is too early for us to nail our colours to the mast.”

To request an information pack call Ms Bradfield on 01502 548519. The website at www.slp-energy.com had not been updated as of Wednesday and was still looking forward to seeing people at the June meeting.

Tony Wright can be contact at 20 Church Plain, Great Yarmouth, NR30 1NE.

By Liz Coates

Great Yarmouth Mercury

5 July 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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