Arguments on both sides of the wind turbine debate will be aired at a public meeting next week about a planning application for North Walsham.

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Town councillors voted to stage the event after requests from several members of the public concerned about Unity Wind’s bid to erect a single community turbine, with a tip height of up to 120m (nearly 394ft), on Grammar School Farm land, east of Cromer Road.

They took their decision at a planning committee meeting on Tuesday night at which there was standing room only because of the number of members of the public who packed the council chamber.

Nikki Jones, co-owner of Norstead Hall Kennels, the nearest building to the proposed site, told the planning committee that she spoke on behalf of neighbours and staff who wanted to object strongly to “”this hideous monstrosity”.

Ms Jones said it would dwarf North Walsham and would be “the equivalent of bolting five standard articulated tractor units and trailers together spinning around 400ft in the air.” The site was close to a long-established wildlife conservation area of 84 acres.

Ms Jones added that the kennels, established for more than 50 years, had a national reputation and specialised in the care of strays and cruelty cases. Such animals needed peace and quiet.

This proposed turbine would destroy all of this with its everlasting hum and perpetual spinning blades,” she said.

There was no such thing as a quiet turbine, according to Ms Jones who said the kennels contributed an £85,000 annual wage bill to the local economy, as well as supporting a number of local suppliers.

But Alicia Hull, Unity Wind secretary, said the threat of climate change was real and urgent and wind power was the most suitable renewable resource available.

Small-scale onshore windfarms could be undertaken by community groups, bringing profits back to the area.

“It is something normal people can do for themselves and the world, taking responsibility for their own use of electricity,”” said Ms Hull.

Turbines were temporary structures lasting for 25 years which could be replaced if something better was developed. Meanwhile £10,000 annually would be given to community causes.

The work of Unity Wind, a not-for-profit industrial and provident society run by volunteers who invite investment from community shareholders, was in line with government policy and professional surveys had shown that a turbine on the site would not cause noise or ecological problems.

“The kennels and the road will produce much more noise than a turbine,”” said Ms Hull, adding that the structure would not be visible from North Walsham’s Market Place.

Other parts of Norfolk had successful turbines schemes producing renewable energy.

She said: “We think North Walsham should be proud of this scheme, and hope it will become an iconic emblem of the town, along with the new Atrium, and North Walsham will serve as a model for other areas to follow.”

The public meeting will take place on May 24 at 7pm in the Jubilee Rooms at North Walsham Community Centre, on New Road.

Planning committee chairman Dave Robertson said councillors would hear what people had to say at the meeting and decide whether or not to support the application at a special planning committee to be held at 6.15pm on May 29 in the town council offices.

● A poll on the North Norfolk News website (www.northnorfolknews.co.uk) shows people are evenly split over the plan, with 52pc (119) people voting for the scheme and 48pc (109) against.

14 comments

  • Andy, ideallly the profits should be invested withthose who are part and parcel of the not for profit organisation, hopefully into further energy saving of their houses and or those in public use,. as a community, not as a council. Those who refuse to help themselves should not stand in the way of others. The issue of blighting the landscape with turbines, whilst we are not blighted when we talk about huge pylons, is non existent and should be disregarded by any planning panel.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

  • Nothing wrong with wind-farm turbines, except increasing they are just a landowners' money making charter

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    weaversway

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

  • Good luck with your Nuclear power station in Plumstead, Mr Ramsbotham. Bet you'll love that.

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    Callum Ringer

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

  • If this is a not for profit organisation, where is all the surplus income going? All other such developments are very profitable so what will happen to all those profits? Will they be supplying electricity to the national grid for far less than other wind farms charge?

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    andy

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

  • Alex Hurrell’s account of the North Walsham Town Council meeting on Tuesday about Unity Wind’s planning application exaggerates the interest show by the public. Some people had to stand, about four, but not because the room was packed with residents. It was packed with tables. A large number were arranged in the centre of the small room, around which sat the councillors, leaving very little room around the edges for the public. I did not count them, but would estimate there were not more than 20 in total and some had come for other planning issues. Five at least, I know, were representing Unity Wind, three came to speak against. No one else spoke so it was impossible to assess opinions, but in a town the size of North Walsham, does 7 - 10 people demonstrate intense interest? At a time when local opinion is judged to be so important, I was disappointed that Alex Hurrell did not report that part of my address which described the involvement of North Walsham residents in this community project. As I said "North Walsham chose us". The site was found for us by members of the Griffon Partnership, (the North Walsham Local Area Partnership), who hosted our first public meeting, from which we had positive feedback, and whose office is our Registered Office. Two directors live in the town, another is a Town Councillor and the rest of us live nearby. We have over 100 members, many of whom live in the area.

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    Alicia Hull

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • I am staggered at the uninformed comments from the likes of Mr T and Callum Ringer who refuse to understand even the basics of the subject. I also have been following the Unity Wind website comments, and am saddened that people are still being hoodwinked into believing they are supporting a green project. How ever many thousand wind turbines are erected, it will make no difference to our reliance on conventional power stations, and surely by now, you wind energy supporters must have decided to at least look into the subject even at a superficial level - if you were to do so, you would have to come to the conclusion that the additional massive subsidies (i.e. over and above our standard electricity charges), attributable to the RO and FiT mean one thing and one thing only - income for those that are involved with the project, at the expense of those in fuel poverty. The equation is simple, at least to most, it is.

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    Trevor S

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

  • Perhaps all the naysayers should hire a bus and travel to Swaffham, where they have a large turbine on the edge of town. It is a graceful peaceful looking windmill. Then they could maybe take a short hop along to North Pickenham, stop, and listen to the lack of noise these things actually generate. It's a lot less than a busy road or even a dog kennels. I doubt they (the NIMBYS) will though. They would rather moan and complain about nothing. An empty vessel makes the most noise.

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    Lord Elf

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

  • The whole issue of wind turbines NEEDS TO BE THOROUGHLY INVESTIGATED AND DISCUSSED BY THE GOVERNMENT. Are you disillusioned by rising electricity prices, over dependence on the "green" dream [especially uneconomical and inefficient wind farms] and the destruction of our countryside then please add your support to get the Government to have a serious debate on this issue by GOOGLING "E-PETITION 22958" and following the link. Please pass this message on to Councillors, members of your community and anyone else you know to persuade them to sign up too. If you are really concerned about wind turbines please write a letter promoting this petition to your local Newsletter and to the Editors of your local newspapers

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    David Ramsbotham

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

  • If the objectors can table a suitable alternative then I'd listen, but they won;t be looking to do that as it's all about their own interests only. I'll be able to see the turbine from my home WHEN it's built so I do have an interest, but sustainable power sources are needed and I'd rather that than a power station. As for the dog kennels, well you don't seem to worry about the noise your residents make do you?

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    KeithS

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

  • Rather than getting heated about the turbines and how they look, cllr's and investors should ensure that the returns are invested in more energy savings, not administrative costs. If the taxpayer is subsidising huge Crown estate windfarms, they should aslo be made aware that they can do this for themselves, something no party has ever advertised, they choose, or were told, to fetter the corporate structures instead.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • Voted won't matter. Money will talk

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    weaversway

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

  • Not allowed to comment on the other one so will do it here The site at Hemsby is perfect-right on the coast so minimum costs as it is inshore and maximum wind for a land site. The place is a dump, wrecks of a Pontins holiday camp acres of caravans and chalets and the majority of permanent residents live slightly inland. A council which has allowed an ugly car park to despoil the Winterton Valley system which is an SSSI just a few yards away and permitted holiday shacks to be lived in all year round and a mini GY sea front to be built on the dunes has no right to talk about ruining natural beauty. A precedent is set nearby with some of the oldest wind turbines at Winterton and Somerton which can be seen from all over the Broads. Even the ones offshore at Scroby can be seen from quite a way inland. It is close to the power link for Scroby .This is the sort of place where wind farms should be going up cheaply. can't understand why it was refused.

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    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

  • If the only sensible arguement against this is the fact that stray dogs need peace and quiet then we may as well all give up and go home! I like to have peace and quiet but have to listen to other peoples dogs barking. What is wrong with people? why are they so against alternative energy developments? It is always the NIMBYs who shout the loudest, the rest of us just get on with life and accept technology. I also agree with the comment that the dogs would make more noise, and mess!! Nice big power station on the old Crane site, that is what we need.....

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    Mr T

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

  • The NIMBYS should be the first to fall into the sea. See ya.

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    Callum Ringer

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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