Wind farm development in west Norfolk rejected by planning inspector

A view over Ongar Hill Road, Terrington St Clements, near one of the wind turbine sites

A view over Ongar Hill Road, Terrington St Clements, near one of the wind turbine sites

Archant

A controversial wind farm development close to West Norfolk villages, Clenchwarton and Terrington St Clement has been rejected by a government planning inspector.

A view over Ongar Hill Road, Terrington St Clements, near one of the wind turbine sitesA view over Ongar Hill Road, Terrington St Clements, near one of the wind turbine sites

Falck Renewables Wind appealed against West Norfolk Council’s decision to refuse permission for nine wind turbines on agricultural land east of Rhoon Road, Ongar Hill Road, in Terrington St Clement.

The appeal hearing was heard at the Knights Hill hotel for four days in June.

In explaining his ruling, planning inspector Paul Jackson said: “I conclude that the advantages in terms of a significant contribution to the nation’s renewable energy needs are clearly outweighed in this location by the harm that would occur to landscape character and visual amenity. The appeal should be dismissed.”

The news was welcomed by Norfolk county councillor for Clenchwarton, Alexandra Kemp, who said: “This is a great day for Clenchwarton.

“This decision against the wind farm will protect the panoramas, open skies and tranquillity of Clenchwarton for current and future generations.”

MP for North West Norfolk Sir Henry Bellingham, who spoke against the scheme at the inquiry, also welcomed the decision.

However, Cath Ibbotson, for developers Coriolis Energy and Falck Renewables, said, “We are disappointed with this news. An opportunity has been missed to provide enough clean electricity for more than 14,000 homes each year.”

She said they were not looking at any other potential sites to locate the development in the area.

The hearing found that the main issues werethe effect of the proposed development on the landscape character and visual amenity of the surrounding area; and whether the environmental and economic benefits of the scheme would be sufficient to outweigh any harm that might be caused.

The original application was refused in February 2015, despite planners recommending approval.

Councillors on the planning committee cited, among their reasons, that the number and height of the turbines - up to 127m - would harm the landscape.

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