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Blimp to show turbine's height

PUBLISHED: 10:35 26 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:52 30 June 2010

A 20ft bright orange blimp helped demonstrate the height of two proposed wind turbines on farmland near Stalham yesterday as councillors charged with deciding on the planning application made a site visit.

A 20ft bright orange blimp helped demonstrate the height of two proposed wind turbines on farmland near Stalham yesterday as councillors charged with deciding on the planning application made a site visit.

The plan for the pair of turbines has caused a stir in recent months in the town and its surrounding parishes, including Ingham, Brumstead and Lessingham.

The plan for the 130m-tall turbines on land at Ingham Farms, Brumstead, will probably be considered in April by a development control committee at North Norfolk District Council.

Members of that committee visited the site yesterday to begin their deliberation process.

They found the large balloon, paid for by campaigners who do not want the turbines, flying above a piece land about 300 yards from the intended turbines site.

The helium-filled balloon was flying at 130m, the equivalent height of the tips of the turbines, while there were also markers showing where the turbine hub will be and showing the height of the meteorological measuring mast, which is already in place.

Mary and Alan Beck own the land where the blimp will be flying and Mrs Beck explained why they had decided to club together with others to pay for it.

“We believe that hundreds of Stalham, Brumstead and Ingham residents will be sleepless if the wind turbines and substation are built,” said Mrs Beck.

“There are noise concerns, the proposed turbines will be as high as a 40-storey tower block and there are concerns about the rural landscape, the bird and wildlife population and the tranquillity of the area.

“This is not an objection to green energy; it is about not siting huge, noisy electrical generating equipment in residential areas.”

Stalham Town Council chairman Tony Ross-Benham said he knew of hundreds of people against the turbines plan and only two in favour: “It's the sheer size and close proximity to where people live that are the real concerns.”

And Margaret Henderson, of Lessingham Parish Council, said: “The blimp showed the real height of the turbine tips, but it also helped show people what the impact and consequences of this development could be, because the majority are just not aware.”

The development has been put forward by Wind Power Renewables, headed by Catfield-based Andy Hilton. The business develops one to four turbine projects and has plans for projects in a number of places.

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