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Guestwick wind farm plans back on table

PUBLISHED: 17:24 05 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:33 07 July 2010

Villagers who spent £50,000 fighting a planned wind farm and having it thrown out in the high court have learned the developer has come up with a fresh set of plans on the same site.

Villagers who spent £50,000 fighting a planned wind farm and having it thrown out in the high court have learned the developer has come up with a fresh set of plans on the same site.

Diss-based energy firm Enertrag has submitted a so-called scoping opinion to Broadland Council - a pre-planning application request outlining its intention to build three wind turbines on land at Guestwick, between Aylsham and Fakenham.

It comes about eight months after the firm lost a high court battle for its plans for a six turbine wind farm on the same site at Skitfield Road.

Villagers in Guestwick, acting on behalf of other nearby villages as well, raised thousands of pounds during six years to pay the legal fees to fight the scheme. After a series of planning appeals and a public inquiry after Broadland turned down the plan it was ruled the scheme would damage the “considerable rural charm” of the area.

However, it was also said it was a finely balanced case.

Richard Linley, of Enertrag, said the firm had had a meeting with Broadland about a week ago and its plans were to reduce the scheme by 50pc to three turbines, with the hope of tipping that balance.

“After the last inquiry the inspector said it was a finely balanced decision at that stage,” he said. “If we reduce the impact by 50pc we stand a better chance.

“Times move on and authorities are coming around. They have got to do something to meet the requirements for renewable energy as more pressure comes from central government.”

He said it would be another 18 months after the scoping opinion request to Broadland before a planning application is submitted.

A spokesman for Broadland said it had received a request for a scoping opinion from Enertrag for a proposed wind farm at Guestwick.

This would consist of three three megawatt turbines with a maximum height of 140m with a rotor diameter up to 112m.

The council has 21 days in which to make an initial response, although this may involve asking for further information in which case it could be longer before a complete opinion is arrived at.

The scoping opinion determines the scope of the environmental impact assessment the applicant has to make in order to produce an environmental statement which must be submitted with any planning application.

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