FENLAND: Council says it WILL go ahead with turbine debate on January 21 and inquiry could follow

PUBLISHED: 16:02 07 January 2009 | UPDATED: 08:50 02 June 2010

BY John Elworthy A LOCAL council has refused a request to postpone a meeting to debate a controversial application for 19 wind turbines in Fenland but their decision will not be binding. A special meeting of the development control board of West Norfolk

BY John Elworthy

A LOCAL council has refused a request to postpone a meeting to debate a controversial application for 19 wind turbines in Fenland but their decision will not be binding.

A special meeting of the development control board of West Norfolk Council will go ahead at 2pm on January 21 in the Assembly Rooms, Kings Lynn, to consider the application by Marshland Wind Farm Ltd.

"Please note that the borough council is a consultee and is not the determining authority in this instance," a council spokesman said today.

Anti wind turbine group FLAT today urged opponents of the scheme to step up their opposition and hope that as many as possible will attend the meeting "to show their opposition to the scheme."

If West Norfolk vote to oppose the application, then a full scale public inquiry will inevitably follow.

Marshland Wind Farm Ltd is hopeful that the Government - who will ultimately decide their application- will agree to delay indefinitely a decision to enable them to produce more supporting evidence. However opponents of the turbines believe that if West Norfolk Council vote to oppose the turbines, then the extension will fall and the next stage will be a public inquiry.

Neil Bromwich, an associate for Osborne Clarke, the wind farm consortium's agent, had expected West Norfolk Borough Council Development Control Board to postpone making a recommendation at their January 21 meeting.

He believed that "as the application is not a planning application and has not been made to the council" it would not affect the council's targets- imposed by Government- of reaching decisions within four months.

Lyndon Mason, of FLAT, said he was "astounded" to learn of the indefinite extension proposal.

He said both the Ministry of Defence and Norfolk highways authority had submitted objections "in relation to problems that they feel are insurmountable and that they cannot therefore see themselves withdrawing their objections."

He accused Marshland Wind Farm of treating local people "with contempt and have dismissed local objections as coming from a few professional NIMBYs." This was despite a local parish poll showing 77 per cent of people opposed to the turbines.

He said people had now seen the application "to be the sham that it is, i.e. nothing more than a money making exercise for a greedy foreign company and greedy local landowners who have betrayed their friends and neighbours by the their pursuit of easy money."

He called for Marshland Wind Farm "to do the honourable thing and withdraw this divisive application and allow us locals to get our lives back.


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