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Hethel wind farm plan thrown out  

Campaigners who have fought plans for a windfarm at Hethel were celebrating yesterday after the proposals were thrown out.

South Norfolk councillors turned down the planning application by green-energy firm Ecotricity for three 120m turbines at car manufacturer Lotus’s test track on Tuesday night.

After the special meeting of the north-west area planning committee, Alan Benstead, chairman of a campaign group fighting the plans, said: “We wish to thank all our supporters for all their efforts over the past few months in determining that our environment remains unspoilt.”

Grounds for refusal were opposition by the Ministry of Defence and the visual impact on the countryside.

The MoD objected to the scheme because it would cause “unacceptable interference” to the air-defence radar at RAF Trimingham.

However, the MoD did not object to a separate application for a temporary 50m wind-measuring mast, which was unanimously approved by councillors.

The council had received 111 protest letters and six in support, along with a petition in support of the scheme, signed by 57 people.

Neighbours feared their lives would be blighted by the structures and some attended the meeting to raise concerns, among which were the visual impact, the industrial nature of the development, potential noise and the effect on farm animals and wildlife.

Representatives from Lotus said the turbines would generate enough power to meet all its needs, with spare capacity to supply more than 1,000 homes through the National Grid.

Wymondham and Attleborough Mercury

1 November 2007

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