Norfolk

Wind farms at Chiplow and Stanhoe win planning permission

Two controversial wind farms proposed for north-west Norfolk have been given planning permission on appeal.

They will be built at Chiplow, near Syderstone, by energy company E.ON and at Jack's Lane, near Stanhoe, by RES.

Both schemes had strong local opposition and were originally refused planning permission by King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council.

The inspector's report said the benefits of both schemes "clearly outweigh" any "identified harm".

Campaigners from joint action groups Against Turbines at Chiplow (ATAC) and the Creakes Action for Protecting the Environment (CAPE) tried to fight the proposals.

They included environmental, visual impact and heritage issues among their concerns.

'Economic benefits'

The inspector's report concluded: "The benefits of both appeal schemes clearly outweigh the individual and cumulative identified harm.

"The impacts are thus not unacceptable as they are here outweighed by wider environmental and economic benefits."

The inspector also attached substantial weight to the scheme's joint contributions, saying they would help address "the identified shortfall against regional targets for onshore renewable energy".

CAPE spokesman Jonathan Powell said: "I think it's disappointing for everybody who lives in the countryside.

"I think the inspector has said regardless of the wildlife, heritage and every other issue, government policy dictates these two wind farms should be built."

The decision will allow E.ON Climate and Renewables UK Development Ltd to build five turbines on the Chiplow site with a maximum blade tip height of 100m (328ft).

The Jack's Lane site, developed by RES UK and Ireland Ltd, has permission for six, three-bladed horizontal axis turbines, with a 126.5m (415ft) maximum height to blade tip.

Helen Wilson, from RES said: "I am absolutely confident that the wind farm will be a positive asset to people living around it.

"We now look forward to working with the council and the local community to finalise the project."

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