Action group happy with landmark wind farm ruling

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PROTESTERS against a wind farm in West Pinchbeck have welcomed a landmark High Court ruling which puts preserving the countryside above the Government’s “green” targets.

Mrs Justice Lang made the comments after rejecting planning permission for a wind farm, near Great Yarmouth, on the edge of the Norfolk Broads.

She ruled plans for four 328ft (100m) turbines in Hemsby would harm the natural landscape.

Stop West Pinchbeck Wind Farm action group has held its first meeting to start formulating its opposition to Wind Ventures’ plans for turbines in Slipe Drove.

The group fears such a development would have a serious impact on one of Lincolnshire’s few remaining wild fen wetlands at Willow Tree Fen, as well as on residents living near to the proposed site.

Spokesman for the group Sue Blake said: “The interesting thing about this ruling is that the High Court judge ruled that villagers’ rights to preserve their landscape was more important than the Government’s renewable energy targets.

“Also, for us in West Pinchbeck threatened by a wind farm, this ruling was for a village in Norfolk that was already impacted by existing wind farms.

“Not only do we have the eight existing turbines at Deeping St Nicholas about three miles away, but planning permission has recently been given for four more between there and this site.

“It seems the greedy are getting greedier – at the expense of everyone else.”

And Mrs Blake took South Holland District Council’s planning committee chairman Roger Gambba-Jones to task over his claim that the authority’s hands were tied when it came to turning down wind farms because of the Government’s national policy supporting new turbines in light of the ruling.

Coun Gambba-Jones said: “Unfortunately it’s not that straightforward.

“This High Court ruling related to plans for the edge of the Norfolk Broads.

“The planning inspector has discounted the impact it would have on The Broads, but whoever has made this High Court challenge has called his bluff.

“Any other challenge would need that sort of criteria.

“But we are not going to roll over and give up, yet we would need something to bounce it off – to say look at the impact on the general area.

“That is a challenge in South Holland because we do not have any designated areas of outstanding natural beauty.

“But this ruling is definitely going in the right direction by beginning to take account of the issues that up until now were wiped aside by the Government’s green agenda.”