New turbine plan

A scheme to generate electricity at a south Norfolk farm has been submitted to district planners. Applicant Richard Cole is seeking consent to put up a 15m (50ft) wind turbine at Hill House Farm, Poppy's Lane in Pulham St Mary.

By CELIA WIGG

celia.wigg@archant.co.uk

A scheme to generate electricity at a south Norfolk farm has been submitted to district planners.


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Applicant Richard Cole is seeking consent to put up a 15m (50ft) wind turbine at Hill House Farm, Poppy's Lane, in Pulham St Mary.

The 6kw 'Proven' turbine is expected to yield 7,000kwh of electricity per annum. Surplus power will be fed into the national grid via an inverter.

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The structure would be about 90m from Mr Cole's house, and more than 250m from the closest dwelling that is not in his ownership. The nearest public right of way is Poppy Lane, which is 140m from the site.

Local residents set up the 4Villages action group to fight controversial proposals to build a large wind farm on land at the former Pulham Airfield - one of the country's first British airship stations - claiming that the seven giant 125m (410ft) turbines would blight thousands of homes in the area. Objectors were worried about noise, shadow flicker from the rotating blades, and the visual impact on the surrounding countryside.

However, Mr Cole's application is on a much more modest scale.

His agent, Charles Dearlove, of Suffolk-based Ecoexcel Ltd, has told South Norfolk Council that the Proven turbine is "one of the quietest turbines on the market". The blades rotate at a very low 200rpm and there is no gearbox, and he claimed it can be rarely heard at distances greater than 100m above the background noise created by the wind.

South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon, who lives in the village, said: "All the applications that we have seen hitherto have been enormous. I don't know anything about the detail of this application and I am sure local people will have their views about it. Noise is a big issue." Although in favour of renewable energy schemes, Mr Bacon has spoken out against plans to locate industrial-scale wind farms close to residential areas, believing it makes much better sense to site them off-shore and utilise the strong winds found on the coast.

He added: "I am extremely pro alternative energy. I think it is a great shame we didn't do a lot more 30 years ago in terms of investment and investigating alternative forms of energy."

The deadline for comment on Mr Cole's application is February 24. Those consulted by South Norfolk Council include the authority's conservation and landscape officers, the parish council and local district councillor.

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