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Wind monitor mast tipped for approval

PUBLISHED: 10:43 02 July 2009 | UPDATED: 11:08 12 July 2010

Controversial plans to install a meteorological wind monitoring mast at a former airship station have been recommended for approval, despite local concerns.

Controversial plans to install a meteorological wind monitoring mast at a former airship station have been recommended for approval, despite local concerns.

South Norfolk Council has received 272 objections to the application, by green energy company TCI Renewables Ltd, to have a 60-metre high mast at Semere Green Road, Dickleburgh, for two years.

The land at Upper Vaunces Farm was once part of Pulham Air Station and the mast would enable the firm to assess the suitability of the site for a potential wind farm development.

An application for a similar mast to the north east of the site, in Pulham St Mary, was refused two years ago on the grounds it would be visually intrusive in a rural landscape.

The objectors have cited wide ranging concerns, including fears that the land may be contaminated - it having previously been occupied by the Ministry of Defence before reverting back to agriculture.

It is also claimed the mast will be seen for miles causing a “blot on the landscape”, and that there is no need for the development as there is already a wind measuring mast in the vicinity, less than a mile away at Tivetshall.

Concerns have also been raised that the site is very close to Anglia Water's main pipe work and boreholes, although the company has been consulted by South Norfolk and raised no objections.

Dickleburgh, Tivetshall and Pulham St Mary Parish Councils have all called for the application to be refused.

However, parish councillors at Pulham Market do not believe there are any grounds on the basis of planning regulations to object, providing the mast is removed at the end of the period and its visual impact minimised while in situ.

Planning officers accept that the mast will be clearly visible, but consider the development to be acceptable given the “unexceptional quality of the landscape”, the lightweight construction and the fact the mast will be in place for no more than two years. Potential land contamination is not considered a significant factor, and the application includes a risk assessment.

South Norfolk Council's south and east area planning committee is due to determine the scheme on Monday.


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