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Turbines planned for site next to Hopton-on-Sea East Coast Hospice

PUBLISHED: 22:19 13 September 2012

East coast Hospice logo

East coast Hospice logo

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EAST Coast Hospice bosses fear 15m tall wind turbines will blight their planned peaceful retreat for the terminally ill.

The 10-bedroom hospice is due to be built in Sidegate Road, Hopton once the £4m construction cost has been raised.

But the tranquility of the location could be lost if Norfolk Energy Futures wins permission for three turbines in a neighbouring field.

The independent company is Norfolk County Council-owned, and it has lodged an application to build the turbines on the county council-owned Oaklands Farm.

East Coast Hospice fundraisers were sold the neighbouring site by the county council, and have now blasted the authority for its lack of consideration.

Robert Ashton, advisor to the East Coast Hospice project, said: “It’s a lack of joined up thinking at County Hall.

“They’ve sold this land for the hospice which is about peace, tranquility and end-of-life care and then on that field they’re sticking wind turbines.

“I think there are arguments for and against the noise and disruption of wind turbines, but you don’t even want to think about having a view on turbines if you’re at a hospice.”

He stormed: “You just don’t want it. It’s kind of inappropriate, and our architects will be putting in an objection.”

Each planned wind turbine will have blades which are 5.6m in diameter and will stand in a line with a 20m gap between each structure.

Renewables firm Windcrop will put the turbines in place if permission is granted by county council planning councillors.

Hospice bosses said they appreciated the virtues of green energy, but there were many better sites for them and it wasn’t a case of Nimby-ism.

“We’re not anti turbines, but it’s just not appropriate,” said Mr Ashton. “The setting was chosen as it’s quiet and has trees around it... and then there will be turbines next door.

“It’s almost as if they don’t appreciate what’s happening next door.”

A design and access statement prepared by Windcrop as part of the application reads: “The project will provide Oaklands Farm with a suitable method of generating a renewable, sustainable and efficient electrical energy supply using three micro wind turbines.

“The turbines to be installed are economically viable, robust and quiet by design and extremely efficient.

“The turbines will be mounted on three 15m towers and will be grid connected to a single phase supply.”

The turbine towers will be matt grey, with the blades having a white anti-erosion coating, and each is expected to generate 10.33MWh of electricity each year.

Environmental searches have been carried out and there are no bat roosts in the area, account has been given to the grade II listed Hobland Hall but there is no reference to the planned £4m hospice in the report.

Studies into noise disruption and “shadow flicker” caused by the rotor blades have been submitted as part of the report.

The five-acre East Coast Hospice site will have a private garden and foldout beds for loved ones to stay and share precious final time together.

Day care and respite support for carers will be offered at the site designed by award-winning architect Henry Kelf, granted planning permission on June 1, 2012.

The planning application for wind turbines was submitted to the borough council on August 31, 2012.

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