A motion put forward by an anti-wind turbine councillor to stop structures more than 75 metres tall in West Norfolk looks set to be rejected by the council.
Independent councillor David Markinson wants a limit on the height of developments to prevent one of England’s prettiest counties becoming an “ugly eyesore and a blot on the landscape of Britain”.
He has put forward a motion asking the council to reject any future planning applications for developments more than 75 metres in height.
But the council’s cabinet, which meets on Thursday, April 1, is being recommended to reject the motion as it would “undermine” the council’s position.
Mr Markinson has been one of the campaigners trying to stop controversial plans for a wind farm in Marshland St James, where he stood as an Independent anti-wind farm candidate for the Mershe Lande ward last year. He defeated West Norfolk’s Labour leader Jack Bantoft, who had held the seat for more than 18 years.
Mr Markinson put forward the motion “to protect the visual and general appearance of the countryside”, and said it has the support of everyone he has spoken to across the borough.
He told the Lynn News: “The intention is to protect the unusual and singular view of places like The Fens and also the lush and picturesque landscape of North West Norfolk.
“The Fens is a place internationally recognised as an area of flat landscape where rainbows can be seen end to end and both sound and vision can be measured in miles rather than yards.
“The rest of North West Norfolk is also a rare and beautiful place and I am attempting to protect it for future generations by limiting the height of any structure built in open countryside to a very generous 246 feet – which seems to be more than reasonable.”
A report to the cabinet says: “Although this is a blanket policy which will apply to any development, in reality, this resolution is only likely to affect proposals for new wind turbines.
“A blanket moratorium on all developments over 75 metres in height would amount to the predetermination of planning applications without any evidence or policy to support such a response. Such an approach would not prevent applications from being submitted but would undermine the council’s position to determine such applications on their individual merits having regard to all material considerations.
“Such an approach would clearly be unreasonable and would expose the council to claims of maladministration and/or judicial review.”
By Amy Collett
25 March 2008
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