Approval of 78m tall wind turbine taken to Secretary of State for redetermination
- Credit: IAN BURT
A planning dispute which has rumbled on for three years will reach a conclusion as the case is brought before the Secretary of State.
An application to install a 78 metre wind turbine in Hempstead was initially submitted to the North Norfolk District Council in December 2014.
However it was refused by NNDC in July 2015, before an appeal was submitted and granted by the Planning Inspectorate in December 2016.
The District Council has now asked for a statutory review and a redetermination of the decision, supported by Historic England.
The NNDC originally refused the application on the basis that: 'the benefits of renewable energy gain do not outweigh the identified harm to the landscape.'
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Historic England have said that the turbine at Selbrigg Farm would cause a 'high magnitude of harm to the significance of a number of important designated heritage assets'.
These include Baconsthrope Castle, Barningham Hall, as well as medieval churches in both Bodham and Baconsthorpe.
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In their approval of the application for the turbine, which includes an access track, substation, and temporary mast, the department for the Secretary of State wrote: 'There are large numbers of wind turbines off the North Norfolk coast and there are two large solar energy developments in the District. These developments are making significant contributions to the generation of renewable energy. But climate change is a national issue and will only be addressed by further reducing reliance on the burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity.'
The High Kelling Parish Council countered: 'The case for the turbine is based on the contribution it will make to renewable energy, but this does not mean that every application deserves to be approved.
'This turbine would make a marginal contribution compared with the existing off-shore wind farms and on-land solar farms in north Norfolk. And make an insignificant contribution compared with the DONG Hornsea 3 project expected to generate energy sufficient for thousands, maybe millions of homes, and for which the power cables will pass through High Kelling.
'The local community does not want this turbine. Many are concerned that it will detract from the peace of a countryside loved by residents and visitors.'