Over this summer the Parish Council (PC) has received information in relation to 3 separate renewable energy proposals.
What follows is a summary of the position, as far as it is known, at 30th October 2012.
In no way should any part of this statement be understood as representing the expression of any view or opinion held by the PC about any of these proposals.
- Wind Turbine
In July the parish received information from Bernard Matthews (BM) about a proposal to build an 80m wind turbine on the site of their turkey farm in Oulton Street. On August 15th a public meeting was held in the parish, at which BM presented further details of the proposal and were questioned at some length by many local residents. Since then the PC has heard nothing from BM and no planning application has been received by Broadland District Council (BDC). There are 5 other parishes affected by this scheme. The PC is in contact with many of them and none has received a planning application to date. It is understood that a BM shareholder meeting is being held in the near future and that this proposal is on the agenda.
2. Anaerobic Digester
Also in July, Michael Harrold approached the PC with information about a proposal to site an anaerobic digester (AD) on part of his land on the airfield at Oulton Street, immediately behind the turkey farm. This digester would be built and run by Future Biogas, and Aylsham Growers would be contracted to supply the maize feedstock. Mr Harrold gave a short presentation to the PC meeting on 30th July and answered questions from councillors and local residents who were present. On 27th October a visit was arranged by Mr Harrold to the site of a similar AD in Taverham, operated by Future Biogas. The visit was attended by parish councillors and a large group of local residents. As well as receiving a full explanation of how an AD works, those present were told that a planning application was not yet ready for submission.
3. Solar Farm
At a PC meeting on 18th September, Jim Agnew informed the council of his proposal to site a 60 acre photovoltaic array (‘solar farm’) on 2 fields situated to the south of Spa Lane running up to the junction with Spink’s Lane. Mr Agnew read out some details of the proposal and was questioned by a few local residents. On 8th October, at a meeting at Thorpe Lodge with Phil Courtier, Head of Planning, members of the PC were told that the Planning Department had received a formal planning application for the solar farm that morning. This application has since been withdrawn, and a new planning application with a reduced size of 48 acres is anticipated to be submitted soon.
The PC would like to remind residents that the Head of Planning has assured us very recently that “each application will be considered entirely separately and on its own merits”. Phil also explained very clearly that the concept of “cumulative impact” would not operate in this situation, as all three of these proposals are different in planning terms “and would not impact on each other.”
It is therefore entirely possible that any combination of these three proposals, should they be submitted as planning applications, could be either approved or refused.
The PC will do everything possible to keep the parish informed of developments as they unfold. Please keep consulting the website and the noticeboard in The Street.
As soon as any planning application is received by the Clerk, an announcement will be made about a meeting in the parish at which the plans can be viewed and discussed.