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Turbine bid could be scuppered

PUBLISHED: 11:27 08 August 2010 | UPDATED: 11:55 16 September 2010

A bid for Broad's world heritage status and the massive number of towers being planned offshore could both put a spoke in a scheme to put four spinning towers at Hemsby.

A bid for Broad's world heritage status and the massive number of towers being planned offshore could both put a spoke in a scheme to put four spinning towers at Hemsby.

Villagers were told at a public meeting on Friday that an appeal against borough council refusal of the renewable energy scheme was finely balanced but that locals had a good chance of heading it off - as long as they made their voices heard.

Around 70 people turned out on to discuss the best way to influence the government inspector hearing SLP Energy's appeal.

The Lowestoft-based company is questioning the wisdom of planners at Great Yarmouth Borough Council who have refused its application for four 105m turbines on the doorstep of Hemsby and Ormesby.

But council and community remain opposed to the scheme whose energy-generating capacity they say would be a drop in the ocean compared to what is produced offshore, the environmental damage to the landscape cancelling out its green credentials.

Charles Reynolds, chairman of the planning committee and member for Ormesby who was chairing the meeting said: “We are going to be plagued by these things offshore and that is a strong argument. What are we going to do with these four at Hemsby - boil another few kettles?

“The borough will do its best to uphold that refusal with local members, and the MP who will do the same.

“But you need to get those letters in and get your friends to write in too. That landscape is worth fighting for.”

Peter Warner, council head of planning, said the recent refusal on landscape grounds of a nine-turbine scheme in the Lake District could only help Hemsby's case.

Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis said the new government supported renewable energy but was keen to put onshore ones only where they were wanted, adding: “If there is enough local opposition it would be a brave inspector who would go against it. We have a pretty strong case as long as we get the opposition in.”

Geoff Freeman, chairman of Ormesby with Scratby Parish Council, sought assurance the inspector would make a site visit given that SLP had described the village as “a hamlet of cottages interspersed with reed beds and windmills”, when in fact it was a much larger community that stood to be affected by the scheme.

l The deadline for representations to the inspectorate in Bristol is Tuesday. Contact the planning department on 01493 846104 for more information.

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