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Fresh planning bid for Hethel turbines  

Green power company Ecotricity has resubmitted plans for a controversial wind turbine development at the Lotus test track at Hethel.

It follows the decision by the Ministry of Defence to withdraw its opposition to the scheme because it no longer believes the three turbines would have an unacceptable affect on military radar at Trimingham.

Ecotricity has also said it will be appealing against South Norfolk Council’s refusal of planning consent last year.

Meanwhile Norwich-based Green Party councillors Andrew Boswell and Rupert Read are demanding a government inquiry regarding the ministry’s u-turn. They have written an open letter to energy minister Malcolm Wickes and defence minister Des Browne voicing their concerns.

Mr Boswell said: “Just a few weeks ago, the MoD claimed that they could not even guarantee that replacing the RAF Trimingham radar with the latest technology in 2009 would solve the problem, now they have withdrawn all objections.

“This fiasco has lost the company time and money, and slowed down our national response to climate change. The company deserves an explanation from the government for the sudden change of mind, the industry needs a guarantee that this won’t happen again.

“We are calling on the ministers responsible for energy and defence to launch an enquiry and to ensure that these problems won’t happen again. We would also like to see a clear statement of the status of all the wind applications that the MoD have previously blocked in the region.”

The two men are also calling for objectors to the Lotus windfarm to “drop their anti-wind energy campaign so that planning consent can now proceed smoothly”.

19 March 2008


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