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£20m wind farm plans unveiled  

Credit:  Lynn News, www.lynnnews.co.uk 15 July 2011 ~~

Proposals for a wind farm near two West Norfolk villages, which could cost more than £20 million to build, have been unveiled.

Details of the scheme at Ongar Hill, close to the Wash, will be displayed at forthcoming exhibitions in Clenchwarton and Terrington St Clement – the villages nearest to the site.

And a planning application is likely to be submitted this autumn.

Leaflets about the proposed development, which have now been sent to local residents, state that Coriolis Energy and Falck Renewables Ltd hope to build the wind farm and claim up to 11 turbines would be suitable for the land.

The company claims that, if all were built, the turbines would generate enough electricity to power almost 12,000 homes.

Cath Ibbotson, Coriolis project manager, said the area fitted many of the criteria needed for a wind farm site.

“It has a good wind speed, isn’t designated for landscape and there is a large expanse of land away from homes,” she said.

Mrs Ibbotson said the purpose of the exhibitions was to be “open and transparent” with the public about their plans in the area.

“I know there will be lots of questions when proposals are put forward and we want to get feedback,” she said.

The company say they are in the early stages of consultation, though a planning application is likely to be submitted to the West Norfolk council in September.

Mrs Ibbotson added that it was hoped the wind farm, which is expected to cost around £2 million for each turbine built, will be operational in late 2013.

Their leaflets also claim Falck would offer £1 million of shares for sale to the public, plus free shares for those closest to the site and a community fund of £40,000 a year.

The scheme is the latest wind farm project to be proposed in west Norfolk.

As previously reported, plans for the Jack’s Lane wind farm, close to the villages of South Creake, North Creake, Stanhoe and Syderstone, has attracted fierce opposition from local residents.

And an issue that is likely to be crucial in consideration of the Ongar Hill scheme is the potential impact on bird life in the area.

Clenchwarton resident Sarah Ward said she did not object to the idea of a wind farm in principle.

But she said she was aware that some householders who live closest to the site were concerned about noise.

And she added: “My main concern is for the nesting wildlife.

“The electricity would be great but I’m quite worried about the habitat.”

But Mrs Ibbotson said: “We have done a very thorough survey of what species of bird are using the site and in what numbers. We have discussed that with Natural England to make sure we don’t have a significant impact on those birds.

“Given the importance of the Wash to bird life, we wouldn’t want to be proposing a project that would have a big effect.”

The first public exhibition on the proposals is due to take place at the Clenchwarton Memorial Hall next Sunday, July 24, between 1 and 5pm.

The other event will be held the following day, Monday, July 25, from 3pm until 8pm at the Terrington St Clement village hall.

Source:  Lynn News, www.lynnnews.co.uk 15 July 2011

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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