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Poll gives wind farm big thumbs down

Proposals for a windfarm in a west Norfolk village have been given an overwhelming thumbs-down in a poll of residents.

There was a four-to-one vote against the five turbines in the poll by Syderstone parish council, called so that its 430 residents eligible to vote could have their say on the proposals by E-On UK at Chiplow, close to the village and neighbouring communities of Bagthorpe and Barmer.

The poll was held on Thursday and 162 people voted against the scheme, while 48 were in favour. Last night E-On UK said it was “disappointed” by the outcome but vowed to continue with its plans because it believed there were significant benefits for the area, including a £20,000 annual contribution to the community. “Although the result of the parish poll is clearly disappointing for us we do still believe that Chiplow is a good location, offering benefits for the community and the wider area,” said company spokesman Jonathan Smith. The company’s proposals were outlined to residents earlier this year in an exhibition at Syderstone village hall.

Parish council chairman Gerry Taylor said the parish council would support the result of the poll. He was not prepared to give his personal view on whether there should be a wind turbine farm in the area. “I was very pleased with the turn-out but I think it is disgraceful that the result does not have any legal binding and that the view of the people cannot be officially accepted,” said Mr Taylor.

E-On UK is set to submit a formal planning application for its scheme this autumn. A planning application for the siting of an anemometer (wind speed sensor) is currently in the planning application system.

Fakenham Times

23 August 2007