Campaigners celebrate after Ecotricity finally gives up 13-year battle to build wind turbines at Shipdham
Campaigners are celebrating victory today after their 13-year battle against one of the UK’s largest renewable energy companies appears to finally be over.
After four public inquiries Ecotricity has withdrawn its High Court appeal against the refusal of planning permission to build two 100m-high wind turbines at Wood Farm, between Shipdham and Bradenham, near Dereham.
The result will be viewed as a victory for people power.
Ecotricity had claimed the scheme would have been able to generate enough electricity for the needs of more than 3,300 homes but a spokesman confirmed yesterday that the company has no further plans to build wind turbines at the site.
In a new twist, however, Ecotricity is considering building a solar farm in the area.
Plans are at an early stage and further details are not yet available, but Stephen Kite, chairman of Campaign Against Turbines in Shipdham (CATS), believes this will of far less concern for local residents.
Mr Kite said: “Our main objections were over the impact on the landscape and the noise that would be generated from two 100m wind turbines in that position, so close to people’s homes.
“Solar farms aren’t popular with some people but I don’t think people here will be too worried about it.”
Plans for the wind turbines were first put forward 13 years ago.
Ecotricity failed in a High Court appeal earlier this year after the scheme was turned down by then communities secretary Eric Pickles.
This was on the grounds of the dangers the turbines could cause to low flying aircraft.
Yesterday it was confirmed that Ecotriocity would not be making any further appeal.
Mr Kite said: “Members of CATS are delighted with the final outcome as a vindication of their tenacity and those of other groups such as the residents of Daffy Green, since 2002 in fighting off repeated applications that were clearly intended to wear down those who had the best interests of local residents at heart.
“The application was repeatedly rejected at every level in each of the four applications.
“Ecotricity sought every avenue in the planning system to circumvent overwhelming local and national opposition to placing turbines too close to residents’ homes.
“It has always been the position of CATS that, in their proper place such as offshore, turbines are a viable, if expensive form of renewable technology.
“This is a case of successful localism in action that has meant four expensive public inquiries both to the taxpayer and local residents against a determined developer using its corporate financial and legal clout to achieve its ends.
“CATS welcomes the acknowledgement of its commonsense view by Ecotricity.”
Ecotricity did not wish to comment further.
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