A further legal challenge is being threatened over plans for Suffolk’s first on-shore wind farm – if district councillors approve two alternative designs put forward for the six 100-metre high turbines.
The wind farm, proposed for the former Parham Airfield, near Framlingham, was granted planning permission more than two years ago – subject to conditions being met.
However, earlier this year opponents of the scheme obtained a High Court judgement that conditions had not been fully met – because Suffolk Coastal District Council failed to consult over a proposed change in turbine design.
The council consequently launched a new consultation over two alternative designs put forward by developer, Your Energy.
A report to the development control on May 28 recommends that both designs be approved. The recommendation is partly based on assessments of potential environmental impact.
But Dr John Constable, chairman of the No Wind Farm at Parham (NOWAP) protest group, said last night that council officers did not seem to have learned from the council’s “blunder” in issuing planning consent without consulting on the proposed change in turbine design.
“The new turbines are more or less the same size physically, but their potential energy generation is dramatically reduced, by nearly 40%. This is a new planning balance, and clearly needs a new planning application.
“Frankly, we are exasperated with the officers, and hope that the elected councillors will require a new application. Otherwise, we will have to take the matter back to the High Court.”
A council spokesman said last night: “The council, having taken legal advice, does not accept NOWAP’s point that these submissions cannot be considered under the original planning permission, which was agreed with conditions by elected councillors back in October 2005.”
James Townsend, project manager for Your Energy, said: “The objection group will never be happy with whatever model of turbines get installed at Parham Airfield; they say they are too big or too small and they can’t seem to make up their minds. It is clear that they just don’t want it and will try to stop this wind farm any way they can.
“We look forward to the day when the turbines are turning and generating clean energy in Suffolk.”
21 May 2008
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding