Shipdham turbine saga continues as Ecotricity launch High Court appeal against Eric Pickles’s decision
A long-running planning saga has had another twist as it is poised to go to the High Court.
The plans for two 100m turbines between the mid Norfolk villages of Shipdham and Bradenham were turned down by communities secretary Eric Pickles in September following the advice of a planning inspector.
The plans were first put forward 13 years ago and since then there have been four public inquiries into the scheme.
Now the company behind the proposal, Ecotricity, have chosen to appeal that decision.
The green energy company say in their appeal statement that the inspector had found the proposal to be in accordance with the Development Plan but chose to reject the scheme on other material considerations.
An Ecotricity spokesperson said: “After considering the reasons given by the Secretary of State for rejecting the Shipdham wind park, we believe we have cause to challenge.
“The application has been in the planning system for a very long time, of course, but we fully believe the site is an appropriate location for two wind turbines of this size.”
The company argues they were not given the opportunity to counter claims that the turbines, on land at Wood Farm, off Church Lane, Shipdham, would cause increased risk to air traffic surrounding Shipdham Airfield.
They also believe that unfair weight has been given to the turbines’ impact on listed buildings in the area.
Breckland District Council’s planning committee had rejected the application and the planning inspector John Watson was called in to decide on Ecotricity’s appeal.
Shipdham councillor Lynda Turner said: “Speaking on behalf of the village, we are just dismayed that this still hasn’t been resolved.
“We are in a state of limbo and there are no winners.
“The village just wants the matter dealt with once and for all.”
Geoff Hinchcliffe, founder of the Challenge Against Nimbyism in Shipdham, which supports the proposal, said: “This must be their last attempt, I don’t think it can go anywhere after this.
“We have all been there so many times before. Whatever side of the argument everyone is just fed up.”
Ecotricity claims the turbines could provide enough energy to power 3,300 homes each year.
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