Hempnall wind farm saga continues as developer appeals dismissal

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The long-running saga around a proposed wind farm in Hempnall has re-emerged once again after the developer behind it lodged an appeal against the dismissal of its plans.

Energy business TCI Renewables is appealing to the High Court to overturn Communities Secretary Eric Pickles’ decision to throw out a proposal to build three 126m-high wind turbines at Bussey’s Loke.

Mr Pickles determined in October last year that the wind turbines “cannot be made acceptable” due to the harm they would cause to the Hempnall Conservation area and overruled the recommendation for approval given by an independent planning inspector.

The High Court will now ask the Secretary of State to defend his decision during a Judicial Review of the case, to take place on Thursday, January 15.

If TCI win their appeal, the planning application will go back for another Public Inquiry at South Norfolk Council.

Opposition group Stop Hempnall’s Onshore Wind Turbines (SHOWT), which has fought against the plans for several years, states it is not involved in the judicial process, but is ready to continue their battle if the Communities Secretary’s decision is not upheld.

Carolyn Moulton, SHOWT committee member, told the Diss Express: “We first heard about this nine years ago and it just keeps going on and on. For now, all SHOWT can do is wait and see what goes on.

“If the decision is overturned, then at that point we will go back and do what we have done twice before. We will start fundraising again, hire an expert and defend our case.”

TCI has yet to comment. However, the Oxfordshire-based company has previously claimed these turbines could generate enough energy to power around 4,000 homes annually.