Hemsby wind turbine High Court ruling 'highly significant' says CPRE

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Media captionCampaigners says the wind farm ruling could set a legal precedent

A High Court ruling rejecting plans for four wind turbines in Norfolk could set a legal precedent, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has said.

Plans to build 105m (344ft) turbines near Hemsby were rejected on Tuesday in favour of local conservation policy.

CPRE East spokesman David Hook said: "The High Court judge has quashed the idea that national targets have precedent over local concerns."

A renewable energy industry spokesman said it was not "unduly worried".

Great Yarmouth Borough Council refused plans from Sea & Land Power and Energy Ltd for the turbines in 2009 over concerns about the adverse impact on the landscape.

'Significant ruling'

The company took the appeal against the council's decision to the High Court after it was turned down by the Planning Inspectorate.

Mr Hook said: "I think this is a highly significant ruling.

"I think it will cause unrest to several wind farm companies because it's reasserting the importance of local people's feelings towards their landscape.

"It'll still be a balancing act between national targets and local concerns, but it's upped the ante to help local campaigners who think turbines of 100m (328ft) plus will have a negative outlook in their area."

The turbines would have stood in an area directly to the east and south of the Broads, with the Norfolk Coast, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, also just 1.8 miles (3km) away.

Robert Norris, from Renewable UK, which represents the wind, wave and tidal energy industries, said: "We're not unduly worried as we've always said every application for development needs to be considered on a case-by-case basis - some we win, some we lose.

"This will continue to be the case, despite judgements like this, because the government has made it clear that although all the environmental impact is an important consideration, another consideration is how are we going to generate enough electricity."

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