Two controversial wind turbines near the north Norfolk coast have been given the go ahead after years of battles between developers, residents and the local council.
The Planning Inspectorate has approved the turbines between Sheringham and Holt after North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) tried to have them stopped.
The decision means a 66m turbine can be built at Pond Farm, Bodham and a 78m turbine can go ahead at Selbrigg Farm in Hempstead. The planned sites are around 3km away from each other, and although separate companies are behind each, Paul Griffiths, from the inspectorate, considered them both together.
David Mack, who runs Pond Farm with his family and applied to have a turbine built there under the company name Genatec, said he was pleased.
Mr Mack said: “We’ve received a lot more public support for the plan than when it was first raised. People are more willing to change the way they live and they are more conscious of the environment.”
Selbrigg Farm owner Francis Feilden, who is behind the other application, said: “The delays that the various challenges to the process that NNDC have caused actually have worked to our advantage as more efficient technology is available now than I would have installed six years ago and people are now more concerned to help fight climate change than ever.”
Nigel Lloyd, the council’s portfolio holder for the environment, said he was disappointed with the inspectorate’s ruling, which meant the council would now have to review its planning policies.
Mr Lloyd said: “There was a huge amount of local opposition to these wind turbines. That said, we are broadly in favour of all renewable energy sources and as a council we have declared a climate emergency.
“But we are very mindful that north Norfolk is a beautiful place and we want to keep it that way and not detract people from visiting various locations around the county.”
An earlier application by Genatec for a 86.5m-tall turbine on the site was also refused by NNDC in 2012, then allowed on appeal, and then that decision was quashed by the High Court in February 2014.
In July 2015 NNDC refused Mr Feilden’s application for a wind turbine at Selbrigg.
Callum Ringer, who is a member of Bodham Parish Council, said his own view was that the turbines would be positive for the area.
Mr Ringer said: “It has been quite a contentious application but since the district council objected to the application times have changed and there’s a lot more awareness of the environmental problems that we’re facing.”
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