September 26, 2012

Anger at fresh plans for village wind farm

Diss Express | 26 September 2012

Hempnall residents have spoken of their anger at a controversial application to build four wind turbines in their village.

TCI Renewables, who took over the site in Bussey’s Loke from Enertrag UK, held a public consultation last Wednesday to exhibit their fresh plans for the site, almost one year after their first consultation.

The new proposals would see four 126.5-metre high turbines built on the site known as Streetwood Wind Farm, which TCI Renewables say would provide enough renewable energy for 5,200 homes.

But Robin Smith, who has lived in Hempnall Green for 30 years, described the plans as “visually sickening.”

“I feel absolutely outraged,” he said. “They are a blot on the landscape.

“If they want to build turbines then put them offshore.”

Plans were submitted for seven wind turbines by Enertrag UK on the same site more than five years ago – which received strong opposition from campaign group SHOWT – Stop Hempnall’s Onshore Wind Turbines. However, the application was rejected by South Norfolk Council’s planning committee and by an inspector on appeal.

A Hempnall resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “I was against the first application and looking at this I’m against this one as well.

“This is a fabulous area to be in and now the countryside will blotted with turbines.

“It wasn’t granted permission last time so why are we back here doing this again?”

Peter Forest, project developer for TCI Renewables, said the company had conducted detailed environmental studies with various bodies including Natural England and South Norfolk Council to prepare their preferred design. They hope to submit their final application to the district council before Christmas.

“The turbines are smaller, there’s shorter access tracks and overall there will be less impact,” said Mr Forest.

He added that Hempnall residents could be proud that they are addressing the renewable energy needs of the country.

The development would contribute £16,000 a year for 25 years to the local area, and Mr Forest said they are open to suggestions about where that money would be best spent.

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