Growing protest over Hemsby windfarm plan

AROUND 300 people have written to the planning inspectorate in Bristol over controversial plans for a windfarm at Hemsby..

The four turbine scheme is set to be the focus of a planning appeal after SLP Energy reignited the debate over the spinner towers, which it says will generate clean, green power to up to 5000 homes.

The borough council, backed by strong local opposition, refused permission for the windfarm in December saying it would dominate the landscape and intrude on the sensitive Broads area.

Following SLP Energy’s challenge in July, locals were urged by Charles Reynolds, whose council ward includes Ormesby which stands to be affected, and by MP Brandon Lewis to write to the planning inspectorate making their views known to support the borough’s case.

This week, Mr Reynolds said he was staggered by the “marvellous” effort from local people, the biggest response – he reckoned – in his 25 years of committee involvement.

“It is marvellous,” he said. “I am absolutely delighted with the response and the number of people who have written in, as it shows the strenght of feeling about this.

“We are now in the hand of an independent person and I hope they will respect the strength of feeling. A lot of these letters are on solid ground.”

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SLPs challenge to planners will be decided by a government planning inspector who will visit the site and take into account written statements from both sides.

Opponents point to the landscape issues and say that the borough has already done its bit for wind farms, with more being planned offshore.

A decision is expected by the end of the year, possibly as early as November.