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Helipad go-ahead 'good news for town'

PUBLISHED: 16:00 29 May 2008 | UPDATED: 20:30 05 July 2010

LOWESTOFT is moving towards becoming the country's wind energy capital after a helipad was given approval last night.

The helipad and hangar on Battery Green Road will be used to support the planned Greater Gabbard wind farm, 31 miles from Lowestoft in the outer Thames estuary.

LOWESTOFT is moving towards becoming the country's wind energy capital after a helipad was given approval last night.

The helipad and hangar on Battery Green Road will be used to support the planned Greater Gabbard wind farm, 31 miles from Lowestoft in the outer Thames estuary.

It goes hand-in-hand with plans to build a base at Waveney Dock from which Airtricity will maintain the 140 turbines at Greater Gabbard.

The operations base is expected to directly generate about 100 new jobs, but would not have gone ahead without approval for the helipad.

It will be used as a back-up facility for the base, transporting the engineers to the windfarm at short notice or when rough seas mean ships cannot be used.

The helipad application, from Bond Air Services, was approved at Waveney District Council's planning meeting last night.

To keep noise levels down, the flying hours will be restricted between 10am and 6pm, except in emergencies.

Kirkley councillor Gifford Baxter said: "This is such an important step that it should be noted that we are positively very happy and commend Bond's for using Lowestoft as an offshore operations base."

The application had also been welcomed by the East of England Energy Group and Lowestoft College.

There were no objections to the plan, although the Environment Agency has queried whether measurements of the site's height are accurate. If they are found to be wrong then the plan could yet run into problems because of flood risk.

Sue Crothers, from Renewables East, said after the meeting: "This is brilliant. It is such good news for the town.

"They will be bringing the supply chain and jobs with them."

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