Wind turbine plans set for go-ahead

Hayley MaceProposals to build wind turbines to help power a Bernard Matthews' factory in north Suffolk could be approved by planners later this month.Hayley Mace

Proposals to build wind turbines to help power a Bernard Matthews factory in north Suffolk could be approved by planners later this month.

The company wants to build

five 100m high turbines on land at

the former airfield in Holton,

near Halesworth, as part of its

multi-million-pound investment in green energy for its sites.

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On Wednesday next week,

members of Waveney District Council's development control committee will discuss the scheme, which has been recommended

for approval by the council's planners.

A report for the committee said:

"It is considered that any

proposed wind farm, by its very nature, will inevitably have some impact on landscape and visual amenity.

"However these effects have to

be balanced against the government's firm commitment

to renewable energy generation… While there will be particular

local impacts in an area of surrounding countryside, these impacts are not considered to be so significant as to warrant refusal of permission."

The report said that any

effect on the landscape will not be permanent because the turbines

are only proposed to be in place for 25

years and that the area does not

have any official landscape designation which requires it to be protected, as it is about 4km

away from the edge of

the Suffolk coast and heaths

area of outstanding natural


Local campaign group

Westhall Wind Watch has been fighting against the plans ever since they were first tabled. Group spokesman Adrian Simpson-Jones said: "The only argument in

favour of this particular

application is that it is government policy to have onshore wind

farms. Every other argument is against it, and indeed it is

against Waveney's own policy of conserving and enhancing the countryside.

"We are very concerned that, in recommending approval, the planners have ignored serious shortcomings in the

application. There is no

evidence that there is sufficient wind energy available to meet the requirements for planning approval."

He said that concerns raised over the location of nearby listed buildings and a public right of way had not been addressed.

Bernard Matthews' green

plans also include building

two turbines near the firm's headquarters in Weston

Longville and two more at North Pickenham.

A decision on the proposals to build the wind turbines is expected to be made by Waveney District Council's development control committee at a meeting at Lowestoft Town Hall on Wednesday, October 21 at 6pm.

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