Go-ahead for turbines in area of beauty in Henstead

Dr Martin Parsons

Dr Martin Parsons - Credit: Archant

A BID to build two wind turbines in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at Henstead has been given the go-ahead by councillors.

On Tuesday night Waveney District Council's development control committee approved the setting up of the turbines at Whitehouse Farm.

The yes vote came despite a impassioned plea by a councillor on behalf of villagers who fear the 17.7m high structures will be a blot on the landscape.

Martin Parsons, of the Wrentham Ward, addressed the committee with his fears that turbines on the edge of the River Hundred Valley would spoil the Suffolk Coasts and Heaths AONB.

He said: 'This is an incredibly special area. It is one of most beautiful landscapes of Suffolk.

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'We have got a duty to conserve that landscape heritage for the next generations.'

Dr Parsons said he was representing the views of Henstead and Rushmere parish councils which had both objected to the plans submitted by Robert Raven.

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He also said he understood the planning decision was a balancing act between a farmer wanting to diversify and listing to the objections raised.

Henstead Parish Council said it was 'strongly opposed' to the installation of the turbines as they would have a 'detrimental affect' on the AONB.

It was also said that the close proximity of the turbines to existing turbines at Kessingland would create an 'unacceptable visual impact' on the AONB.

Other objections sent in to Waveney included fears that the turbines would impact on wildlife, distract drivers, create noise problems and be out of character with the area.

However committee members heard the environmental health officers had come to the conclusion there was not going to a problem with noise.

The two turbines could also not be moved further north into Whitehouse Farm as they would enter a Suffolk Wildlife Trust bat buffer zone.

Tuesday's successful application followed a failed bid in April last year to build three turbines on the same site.

That scheme was thrown out by the development control committee because of the effect on the AONB.

On Tuesday night councillors were told planning officers said the two turbines in the revised scheme would be closer to the existing farm buildings resulting in a lesser impact on the AONB – meaning the application should be approved.

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