Hemsby wind turbine plans turned down

Anthony CarrollAn energy company's plans to build four wind turbines in a Norfolk coastal village were thrown out last night after they were heavily criticised by councillors.Anthony Carroll

An energy company's plans to build four wind turbines near a Norfolk village were thrown out last night after they were criticised by councillors.

As Great Yarmouth borough councillors rejected the SLP scheme for the 105m turbines at Hemsby, they claimed the structures would destroy the countryside and have little impact on green energy targets.

The rejection of the SLP plans comes two years after the company withdraw similar plans for Ormesby Road after objections from Natural England on ecological grounds and the Ministry of Defence over the impact on air defence radar systems.

In response to the criticism, Lowestoft-based SLP had scaled down the turbines from 125m to 105m and had carried out an environ-mental assessment to address concerns.

But councillors were not impress-ed with the modifications and voted against the plans, saying the turbines would ruin the look of the area.

Chairman of the committee Charles Reynolds said: "For goodness sake, don't destroy the wonderful countryside that is enjoyed by everyone in the area by putting these four monstrous turbines up."

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Councillors heard that 78 residents had objected to the plans compared to three letters of support and that the turbines would be in breach of national conservation and European regulations.

Michael Castle was one of the few councillors who supported the scheme, saying the plans would be vital to Yarmouth's energy industry.

SLP says the turbines would have produced renewable energy for more than 5,500 homes - meeting the power needs of 13.96pc of the borough.

Paul Smith, representing SLP, said the company had listened to residents' concerns by reducing the height of the turbines and that they were not in breach of council planning regulations over countryside conservation.