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Residents’ resilience praised in fight against Hempnall wind turbines

Residents have been praised for their resilience to a controversial bid to build three 126metre-high wind turbines on the edge of their village.

On the final day of a two-week public inquiry into whether the turbines should be built on land at Bussey’s Loke, Hempnall, South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon – who has long opposed the plans – said in his statement: “The vast majority of the residents of Hempnall have indicated very clearly indeed that they do not want this wind farm.

“The people of Hempnall have had this matter hanging over them for almost six years. I have great admiration for the resilience shown by the people of Hempnall in ensuring their voice is heard.”

Planning inspector John Braithwaite heard two weeks of evidence from a series of witnesses and experts after applicant TCI Renewables appealed against South Norfolk Council for not making a decision on the planning application within eight weeks.

The council’s development management committee later refused the proposal, with its barrister Asitha Ranatunga telling the inquiry: “Unacceptable impacts resulting from the appeal scheme will be present for generations.” However applicant TCI Renewables said it would be a “good fit” for the area.

Speaking after the inquiry Hilary Battey, spokesman for Stop Hempnall’s Onshore Wind Turbines (SHOWT), said: “We were very strong in maintaining our position of the harm the application would cause to St Margaret’s Church and the winder landscape and conservation area.”

Mr Braithwaite will now consider evidence from the hearing and make a recommendation to communities secretary Eric Pickles, who will make a final decision.

TCI Renewables did not wish to make any comment following the end of the inquiry.