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Villagers celebrate wind turbine victory as renewable energy scheme is rejected

Villagers are celebrating victory after plans for a 280ft-tall wind turbine on Weeley Heath were turned down.

Roger Martin submitted plans to build the turbine, along with other equipment, on farmland east of Rectory Road.

St Osyth Parish Council strongly opposed the plans, claiming they would have “a significant and detrimental effect” on the landscape.

Planning agent Jim Harley said: “The applicant is anxious to develop a sustainable renewable energy project on his farm to both reduce the financial overheads on the farm and also to contribute to the reduction in his carbon footprint.

“He has identified wind energy as the most ideal renewable energy method to attain this goal, as there is no suitable watercourse on the farm to consider a hydro scheme and solar or photovoltaic panels would take up too much valuable farming land.

“Most importantly, the lands offer ideal wind resources and local and national planning policies are strongly supportive of wind energy projects.”

But the proposals sparked more than 20 objections.

Residents said they already had to put up with noise from the existing wind farm looming over their properties.

Barry Hall, of Rectory Road, said the visual impact would have been huge due to the flat, open landscape.

He said: “Already, our small area supports five huge turbines at Earls Hall Farm and a photo voltaic power plant of some 47,000 panels covering around 40,000 green field acres at Frowick Lane.

“It is difficult to see that any questionable benefits this turbine may bring being greater than the detrimental effect to the community and the environment.”

Tendring Council planning officers refused the application.

They said the benefits of the scheme from lowering carbon emissions did not outweigh the adverse impacts of the proposal, including on key heritage sites such as the nearby St Osyth Priory.