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North Norfolk District Council to challenge wind turbine decision

A long-running wind farm debate in north Norfolk is set to be dragged out further after a council announced plans to appeal against a decision made by the Planning Inspectorate.

North Norfolk District Council leaders will apply to the High Court in a bid to quash a decision to allow two wind turbines to be built.

The announcement was made at the council’s meeting on Wednesday, March 22.

The long-running battle to prevent the turbines being built has seen a number of decisions over the years.

The latest was the decision of an inspector to overturn NNDC’s refusal of planning permission for the two schemes: a turbine at Pond Farm, Bodham, submitted by Genatec with a maximum tip height of 66m; and Selbrigg Generation’s application for a turbine with a maximum tip height of 78m at Selbrigg Farm, Hempstead.

NNDC’s Leader Tom FitzPatrick said: “We are very much in agreement with the vast majority of the local community on this matter. The proposed wind turbines would detract from the unique landscape of this beautiful area and destroy its tranquillity.

“We have discussed our options and carefully considered the next step, which is to apply to the High Court to quash the inspector’s decision.”

Sue Arnold, NNDC’s cabinet member for planning and planning policy, said: “We believe these turbines are in the wrong place and we want to support the views of our local communities.

“Our view is very much that we do not need onshore wind turbines, which among other impacts can damage the local tourism economy.”

An earlier application by Genatec for a 86.5m-tall turbine was rejected by NNDC in 2012, approved by a Planning Inspector on appeal but that decision was overturned in the High Court in February 2014.

The Planning Inspector’s decision to allow both applications was based on the view that the environmental benefit of the renewable energy development demonstrably outweighed the environmental harm that would be caused to the landscape character, visual amenity and heritage interests.

Neither of the two applicants was available for comment.