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Shock withdrawal of wind farm plan

The Shepham Wind Farm plan has been withdrawn days before planners were due to make a decision.

Galliford Try Renewables (GTR) wanted to erect a five-turbine wind farm on land north of the A27, either side of Shepham Lane.

Each turbine would have stood at 415 feet tall, which is almost as tall as the London Eye.

The plan, which was much-opposed and received more than 500 representations, was due to be decided by Wealden District Council in Crowborough yesterday (July 19).

However, planning officers had recommended it be refused and on Tuesday it was taken off the agenda.

A GTR spokesperson said, “The publication of the committee report last week was the first time we have had a clear view of Wealden Council’s position on the proposal, and we feel we need time to respond to the matters raised.

“From the outset, we have sought to work with the Council and consultees in the development of the project, and we wish to continue working with them to find a mutually acceptable scheme.”

GTR’s request for the application to be deferred to a later committee was declined by the council leading to GTR withdrawing its application.

The news has been welcomed by Polegate Town Council which had objected to the wind farm.

A spokesperson from the council said, “Polegate Town Council is pleased that the officer’s recommendation to committee to refuse on the grounds of the adverse impact on the Pevensey Levels; South Downs National Park and settlements nearby outweighs any known benefits from renewable energy provision and reduction in carbon emissions.”

Mayor of Polegate, Cllr Malcolm Cunningham, said, “I see it as positive that the applicant has now withdrawn the application and the Town Council await further information should the applicant reapply in the future, which is indicated in the applicants letter of July 17 to the district council.”

But Mike Hodgson, Hailsham resident and member of Yes to Polegate Wind farm, said, “We are extremely disappointed that the council would not give more time to allow new concerns to be addressed – forcing the developer to withdraw the scheme for now.

“Wind power is being embraced all around the world but Wealden Council seems to want to ensure that Sussex is left behind.

“If the project doesn’t get the green light, the losers will be future generations in Sussex who will have to face the consequences of climate change.”