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Parham: Wind turbine appeal dismissed

A bid to overturn the refusal of permission for a wind turbine to be installed on a Suffolk farm has been rejected.

The Government’s planning inspector dismissed an appeal against Suffolk Coastal’s decision to disregard the recommendations of officers and turn down the application for an 800kw turbine in Parham, near Wickham Market.

A committee last September denied planning consent for Crabbes Farm to install the 74m structure, along with substation and underground cabling. But the applicant exercised the right to appeal under the Town and Country Planning Act.

Plans were rejected amid concerns over adverse impact on the surrounding landscape and the effect of noise on nearby business units.

In 2006 permission was granted for six 100m turbines at the same site, sparking local protest and leading to the formation of campaign group No Windfarm At Parham (NOWAP).

The single turbine bid, which came after permission for the previous application had lapsed, was deemed by planning officer’s to have met national and local policy.

Although insufficient reason was found to withhold permission based on noise, nature, size or location, the inspector said its influence on surroundings would be significant.

The inspector, Chris Frost, recognised the need to provide more energy from renewable sources and support local farming enterprise, but added: “The need to protect the local landscape, which is one of the environmental assets of the area, along with the protection of the living conditions of those living nearby, demonstrates that planning permission should be withheld.”

Responding to the decision, Dr John Constable, chairman of NOWAP, said: “This is a victory for common-sense. Members of the council’s planning committee could see, as local people have argued from the first, that the proposed wind turbine was just too big for this location, and too close to houses, and the inspector has supported that view.”

The applicant was unavailable for comment.