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Hempnall windfarm D-day revealed  

A controversial application to build a wind farm at Hempnall will go before district planners next month.

The plan, by renewable power company Enertrag UK, to build seven 130m high turbines on land at Bussey’s Loke has sparked widespread opposition from local residents who claim the development would blight the village and surrounding area.

South Norfolk Council yesterday confirmed it has received about 640 letters of objection, and 60 in support. The authority will be holding a special meeting of its south west area planning committee to determine the scheme at 4.30pm on Tuesday August 5, at the council chamber in Long Stratton.

The room can accommodate 90 people and a large turnout is likely. So an audio link will be provided to an adjoining ancillary room which will be available if extra space is required.

Those wishing to speak will have reserved seats in the chamber, the list including Hempnall Parish Council, which has been allocated 10 minutes, and neighbouring parish councils who have five minutes each.

The objectors will be given a total of 15 minutes to give their views. And local protest group Showt (Stop Hempnall’s Onshore Wind Turbines) has sought expert help to put their case.

Chairman Geoff Moulton said: “We decided that the scale of the damage to our landscape, the remoteness, the tranquillity and the damage to the setting of historic churches in Hempnall, Shotesham, Woodton and Bedingham, was too great for us to tackle the case on our own.

“So we engaged Michelle Bolger of Lizlake Designs to prepare our case to the planning committee. She has been an expert witness at public enquiries, successfully fighting Enertrag’s application at Guestwick, acting as she was for Broadland Council at the time.”

Mr Moulton said the letters of protest, which can be viewed on South Norfolk Council’s website, are all individually written.

“We were surprised that there were only a few letters in support of the project of which two thirds were pro-formas downloadable from Enertrag’s own website,” he added.

The Diss-based company and its supporters will also be allocated a total of 15 minutes to speak in favour of the wind farm which would provide electricity for the National Grid.

Diss Mercury

9 July 2008

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