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Airport and energy firm ‘not talking’  

Negotiations have collapsed between Norwich International Airport (NIA) and developers of Hempnall windfarm.

Both Enertrag UK Ltd and the airport have now accused each other of being completely unco-operative and have not been in contact for four months.

The issue is over how the plans for seven wind turbines, measuring up to 125m, on land on Busseys Loke would affect the airport’s operations.

Senior Airport Operations director Elliot Summers said the airport’s principle concern was the turbines showing up on the radar as they turned to face the wind.

He said it would be confusing because aircraft can fly in the area without contacting NIA’s air traffic control

He added: “If the windfarm is built, we may have to avoid Hempnall by five miles and that could create more noise in other areas.”

But Mr Summers said they could not make a final decision whether to object to the development until they had more information.

He said: “I have found Enertrag to be the most unco-operative windfarm developer I have ever met.

“They have tried and failed to consult with us properly.”

David Linley, manager of projects at Enertrag’s Diss office agreed negotiations had not gone well.

He said: “They (NIA) have been most unhelpful with the consultations.

“As far as we are concerned we want to fulfil our commitments as far as the consultation goes.”

He said that there was no safety issue regarding air traffic with the windfarm and said a previous appeal against the airport on a similar issue about a development in Guestwick, near Reepham, had found in Enertrag’s favour.

Mr Linley also said he was not concerned if the airport ultimately objected to the plans.

“I have no worries at all regarding Norwich Airport,” he said.

“If we had an objection from the Ministry of Defence I would be more worried, but as far as we are concerned we don’t have any worries at all about going ahead.”

The application is expected to be determined by South Norfolk Council in late July or early August.

By Luke Page

Diss Express

30 May 2008

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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