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Villagers have say on turbines

PUBLISHED: 16:33 17 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:19 03 July 2010

TWO villages are finalising their response to plans to put four wind turbines on their doorsteps.

People were reportedly queuing up to pen their views in a comments book at a session arranged by Hemsby Parish Council to gauge local feeling.

TWO villages are finalising their response to plans to put four wind turbines on their doorsteps.

People were reportedly queuing up to pen their views in a comments book at a session arranged by Hemsby Parish Council to gauge local feeling.

And, at neighbouring Ormesby St Margaret on Monday, parish councillors were underlining their opposition to a scheme which, they said, would industrialise the countryside and take up the open land between the two communities.

SLP Energy withdrew plans for four 125m turbines amid objections and concerns two years ago. New proposals, however, show smaller turbines trimmed to 105m and impact studies that give assurances on the impact on the landscape, birds and wildlife.

Hemsby Parish Council chair-man Bob Reynolds said the drop-in session on Friday had given locals the chance to review the plans and have their say. It was well attended, with plenty of people questioning SLP repre-sentatives, reading the literature and adding their comments in one of three books that were being passed around.

People queued to jot down their views, many of them showing a preference for offshore windfarms.

“People were coming and going all the time,” Mr Reynolds said.

“When we send our comments up to the borough we will look through the books and take into account the majority of who is for or against.”

At Ormesby, parish council chairman Geoff Freeman said that in planning terms SLP appeared to have answered the criticisms, but the company had not resolved the debate about whether the turbines were saving the planet or meeting targets, which was outside the planning remit.

Parish clerk Pat Devlin said: “The general feeling of the council is that they should be in an already industrialised area not in the countryside. Although the council acknowledges the fact they have addressed the issues by lowering the height and produc-ing the surveys, it still objects and remains concerned about the spread of them over such a wide area.”

Paul Smith, SLP's onshore devel-opment manager, was at Friday's event. He said: “We were just there to answer people's questions which, hopefully, we did. There was a mixture of opinions.”

Dean Minns, senior planner at Great Yarmouth Borough Coun-cil, said about 50 individual letters had been received by the council, many supporting home-based green energy but not at Hemsby.

Because of the amount of information submitted and expert consultation required, he said, the application would be not be considered by the council development control committee until December at the earliest.

Details of the Hemsby onshore wind turbine plan and a non-technical summary can be viewed at www.slpenergy.com, at Yarmouth Town Hall and at Yarmouth, Caister and Martham libraries.

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