A three-turbine wind farm between four local villages was refused planning permission on Wednesday for a simple reason – they are in the wrong place.
The unanimous decision by a South Norfolk Council planning committee was greeted with rapturous applause and cheers in a council chamber packed with people living in Dickleburgh, Rushall, Pulham St Mary and Pulham Market.
The committee agreed with the planning officer’s reasons for refusal written a report, stating the 126-metre high structures would be too dominant and have an “unacceptable impact” in the landscape. The officer also cited the impact on nearby homes Semere Green Farm and Barnacres.
Councillor Beverley Spratt, on the committee, said: “I think they are just in the wrong place.
“I wish these sorts of applications were taken to the proper place – out to sea – that is where we have to make them work.”
Murray Gray, also on the committee said: “They (the turbines) are out of scale with the landscape. We have a horizontal landscape and I think they have an overbearing effect on local residents.”
But he added: “It worries me that we could say no to turbines in South Norfolk. We are in danger of putting up shutters to renewable energy.”
Applicants, Oxfordshire-based TCI Renewables, said they would have to take time to decide whether or not to appeal the committee’s decision on the wind farm at Upper Vaunces Farm, off Semere Green Road in the parishes of Dickleburgh and Pulham Market.
TCI director, Bruce Hutt, said after the meeting: “We are disappointed but it is not unexpected – that is all we can say. We need to go away and digest it.”
Peter Dixon, consultant to TCI Renewables, said to the committee: “Your policy asks you to take a holistic and positive approach to renewable energy projects unless the effects of the development outweigh the benefits.
“I suggest to you they do not.”
The planning report stated the turbines would generate enough electricity for 3,500 homes and the development would have an “operational life” of 25 years before being decommissioned.
Terence Blacker, spokesman for 4Villages, the group representing opponents to the proposal living in the four villages, said: “I think it (the decision) was a triumph for sanity and good sense. “We hope that the degree and detail in which it was discussed and the conclusions that were reached, will lead the developers to think this is not the right place to do business.”
There were 413 letters of objection and 38 letters of support submitted to the council.
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