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Turbines go-ahead for Suffolk wind farm 

The company preparing to build Suffolk’s first wind farm has won permission to install more powerful turbines – but is set to face an appeal by opponents to the plans.

Following a three-hour meeting, Suffolk Coastal District Council’s development control committee has granted Your Energy permission to increase the length of the rotor blades at the planned Parham wind farm, near Framlingham.

This means the six turbines will generate 25% more electricity.

The No Wind Farm at Parham (NOWAP) protest group, however, has claimed the decision is “illegal”.

John Constable, chairman of NOWAP, said: “The council approved this development without asking for a new Environmental Impact Assessment.

“Our planning lawyers advise us that this is illegal, and we are now preparing to challenge the decision in the courts.

“Local authorities have a duty of care to the people in their district, but in this case, and in spite of being warned of the risks again and again, I think both officers and councillors have made a decision without fully informing themselves of the environmental impact. Sadly, local residents now have no option but to resort to law.”

The district authority, however, said the application was undertaken lawfully and that any potential challenge would not be likely to succeed.

Ivan Jowers, chair of the development control committee, said: “The committee looked at the proposed changes carefully and has seen the proposed turbines in operation and were satisfied having heard all the evidence that the scheme as amended was acceptable subject to complying with the stringent conditions.”

The original plans for Parham were for six Bonus machines, 100m tall consisting of a 69m tower and 31m blade.

Now they will install the Enercon E70 model, which is the same kind Your Energy operates at its 10-turbine Burton Wold Wind Farm in Northamptonshire.

The new turbines will still be 100m, with a shorter tower 64.5 metres high and a blade length of 35.5m, giving it a larger rotor diameter to catch more wind and generate more energy.

James Townsend, Your Energy’s senior development manager, said: “We’re pleased that we got the go-ahead to build these new turbines that will be quieter, more modern and will generate more energy.”


27 July 2007

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