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Council 'to treat wind farms on merits'  

West Norfolk council will treat applications to build wind farms on their merits, despite calls to reject all such schemes in the future.

Councillor David Markinson put forward a motion to the council asking it to oppose any proposed wind farms in the district, because he claims there are doubts about the efficiency and environmental benefits.

But officers say such a ban would be irrational and unlawful.

Mr Markinson is a firm objector to wind farms and has fought publicly to stop a wind farm being built in his home village of Marshland St James.

He won his seat as an Independent anti-wind-farm candidate in the Mershe Lande ward after he defeated West Norfolk’s Labour leader Jack Bantoft, who held the seat for 18 years.

He stood for the seat after it was revealed that there were plans to build up to 26 wind turbines on farmland off Middle Drove.

A campaign against the proposal has been marred by claims of underhand behaviour and a test mast on the site of the potential wind farm was destroyed.

Mr Markinson’s motion to the council said: “In light of the increasing doubts about the efficiency and environmental effects of onshore wind farms, this council resolves to oppose any further proposals in west Norfolk until further substantial evidence becomes available.”

A report to the cabinet said: “The council could not refuse to register planning applications relating to windfarms, if this resolution were to be adopted.

“By adopting a blanket presumption against all schemes regardless of their merits, the council would fail in its responsibilities to determine applications fairly and without bias.”

It added: “The advice from the council’s legal-service manager and monitoring officer is that in the absence of any formal evidence to support or justify such a blanket policy against onshore wind farms, the adopting of such a policy would be irrational and, as such, unlawful.”

The cabinet is being urged to reject the motion at its meeting next Tuesday.

Eastern Daily Press

27 November 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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