Windfarm plans rejected

Proposals for a windfarm on the outskirts of Stalham have been turned down after more than 300 people objected to it.

But the developer has said they will be appealing the decision.

Councillors from North Norfolk's District Council's development committee voted unanimously to reject the proposals for the two 130m-tall turbines today, taking the advice of officers who said the scheme's eco-benefits were outweighed by the potential damage to the sensitive and historic landscape around it.

The turbines at Grove Farm, Ingham, would be 800m north of the edge of Stalham's built-up area and would generate enough power for 3,600 homes.

A report to North Norfolk District Council's development committee said the plans had generated 311 letters of objection, as well as others from parish councils at Brumstead, Ingham, Lessingham, East Ruston and Stalham which includes another petition from 130 people who attended a public meeting.

Mary Beck from Brumstead was one of a group of campaigners who came to the meeting on Thursday to persuade councillors not to approve the scheme.

She said: 'We are delighted with the outcome and with the planning committee for putting the wishes of the community above the proposed development.'

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Stalham Town Council chairman Tony Ross-Benham spoke against the plans at the meeting. He said: 'The development is far too large and too close to the local community.'

Other reasons cited by opponents included spoiling the countryside, noise , danger to wildlife, inefficiency of turbines as an energy source, light 'flicker' from the blades and television interference concerns.

The Broads Authority, English Heritage and county council highways officials also had said they had concerns with the scheme.

More than 50 responses supported the turbines because of the need to tackle climate change, produced renewable energy and them being a preferable option to fossil fuel energy.

Andy Hilton, managing director of Windpower Renewables and who managed the Scroby Sands windfarm and has more than 25 years experience in the power industry, said they would 'without a doubt' be taking the decision to appeal.