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Diss gears up for a new wind farm fight

PUBLISHED: 09:22 12 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:57 12 July 2010

VILLAGERS are gearing up for another wind turbine fight after an energy firm announced that it had submitted proposals for a temporary mast in the south Norfolk countryside.

VILLAGERS are gearing up for another wind turbine fight after an energy firm announced that it had submitted proposals for a temporary mast in the south Norfolk countryside.

Residents living near the former Pulham airfield, near Diss, were celebrating last year after plans for seven 125m high turbines were withdrawn by SLP Energy.

But campaigners were placed on alert last week after a different green energy company revealed that it wanted to construct three wind turbines at the former RAF Pulham site.

Officials at TCI Renewables said they had submitted an application to South Norfolk Council for a 60m tall monitoring mast at Upper Vaunces Farm. If successful, the Oxford-based firm could submit formal plans for a three-turbine windfarm to the south west of Pulham St Mary by the end of the year.

But members of 4Villages, which was set up by the residents of Pulham St Mary, Pulham Market, Dickleburgh and Rushall to oppose the previous SLP Energy application, said they would be lodging their objections against the new scheme.

Lucy Melrose, chairman of the campaign group, said local people were against any form of wind turbine development in the middle of the four villages.

"These proposed turbines are 400ft high and would completely dominate these villages. They would have a big impact on a huge number of homes and they would be hugely invasive on the landscape.

"We are opposed and we believe that TCI will come to the same conclusion as SLP that the site is not suitable," she said.

Mrs Melrose added that she did not see the point of the proposal for a new 60m wind monitoring mast on the farmland when there was already a rival firm's testing mast two miles away at Tivetshall.

Gavin Clark, TCI Renewables development manager, said the company began environment tests at the Pulham site in November and the proposed temporary structure would pose a "limited impact" on the landscape and would take detailed wind speed and direction measurements for a maximum of two years.

"If the wind speed is as good as we think it is, a three-turbine project could provide enough green electricity to power some 4,000 homes - more than enough for every home in Diss," he said.

For more information, visit www.uppervaunceswindfarm.co.

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