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Bid for wind turbines at Barsham withdrawn

A controversial plan to build wind turbines on a farm near Beccles has been withdrawn, as the applicants hit out at the decision to hold a formal inquiry.

It was announced last week that an inquiry rather than a public hearing would take place after Stamford Renewables’ bid for wind turbines at Laurels Farm, Barsham, was rejected by Waveney District Council.

But now the company has withdrawn its appeal, with the time and expense of the process cited as reasons.

Mike Stamford, chief executive of Stamford Renewables, said: “The decision to hold a planning inquiry has had a devastating impact on the appellant’s position. It is no longer cost-effective to proceed and, as a result, the appeal for the wind power development at Laurels Farm is immediately withdrawn.”

The company initially had an application for nine wind turbines across three farms turned down by Waveney District Council in October 2010, but it appealed the decision for three at Laurels Farm and its latest proposals had been for just two.

In a letter to the Planning Inspectorate, Mr Stamford said there had been £200,000 of “unnecessary expense” and a public inquiry would cost a further £250,000.

A residents’ group formed to fight the plans said they were delighted the appeal had been withdrawn.

Philip Johnson, of the group, said: “It has been wonderful how the local people have come together, raised funds and given up so much time.”