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Wind turbine plan faces legal challenge  

A HERITAGE watchdog has launched its first ever legal challenge against a planning decision after permission was granted for two wind turbines on the Suffolk coast.

The Suffolk Preservation Society has joined forces with concerned groups in Waveney to begin judicial review proceedings after the decision to give the go-ahead for the 125m turbines to be built near Kessingland earlier this year.

Director Richard Ward said: “This is the first time the society has become involved in a judicial review – but it certainly isn’t a route we would be afraid to follow in future.

“We will be looking very closely at the decisions made by planning authorities across the county and challenging them if and when it is appropriate.”

He added: “It is essential that Suffolk’s unique urban and rural environment is protected and judicial review is another tool we can use to help ensure the county remains special.”

A planning inspector gave Lowestoft-based SLP Energy Ltd the green light to construct the turbines on the outskirts of Kessingland in the spring. The inspector ruled in favour of the energy company after planners at Waveney District Council failed to reach a decision on the £4m plans, earmarked for land close to the Africa Alive wildlife park.

Opponents of the scheme have warned that the turbines would create a blot on the landscape of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and that the inspector’s decision was not well-reasoned and so could lead to confusion with regard to future applications for wind turbines.

The society was originally formed to protect the county’s buildings and landscape but it has now broadened its focus to campaign for sensitive and appropriate development, more and better quality affordable homes and to ensure sustainable infrastructures are in place to support the county’s communities.

SLP Energy declined to comment on the start of the judicial review proceedings.

01 July 2008



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