Haverhill wind turbine is rejected

James Sills had hoped to build a 78 metre high wind turbine in Nosterfield End
James Sills had hoped to build a 78 metre high wind turbine in Nosterfield End

Plans to build a 78 metre high wind turbine on the outskirts of Haverhill were rejected by St Edmundsbury Council today (Thursday, February 6).

The council’s development control committee had looked set to reject James Sills’ plans for the turbine at Nosterfield End at the January 2 meeting, but were warned their reasons for refusal may not be legally sound and were thus blocked from doing so with the decision deferred until today.

Planning officer Charlotte Ballard said she had received three more objections to the controversial turbine, which Mr Sills is looking to build after successfully applying to build a similar turbine in Clare.

These latest objections related to landscape impact, impact on bats, concerns over traffic safety due to shadow flicker and ice throw, impact on heritage assets and house prices.

Despite having a large opposition Natural England, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, the Ministry of Defence and National Air Traffic have not opposed the plans.

Three councillors had to leave before the discussion due to an interest, and Clive Boase opened by saying: “This is the wrong development in the wrong place which you have voted against already and I ask you to hold your nerve and make the right decision.”

Haverhill mayor Roger André outlined the town council’s objections while his deputy Maureen Byrne, also a borough councillor, said: “It is a sad reflection of our powers that our capacity to prevent this travesty is so limited.

“The only beneficiary is the applicant and I would urge you to weight the impact on an entire community against the benefit to one individual.”

She did acknowledge the likelihood of the council potentially losing an appeal and suffering the financial consequences.

Cllr Peter Stevens said: “It’s our duty to listen to the general public and balance our opinions based on what we have heard.

“We shouldn’t be put off by the costs either for or against as our decision is a democratic right.”

Cllr Byrne proposed rejecting the application, and was seconded by Cllr Tim Marks.

Of the 12 remaining councillors ten voted to reject it and the remaining two abstained.

After the decision Cllr André said: “Haverhill Town Council is delighted have recognised the awful impact this would have had on the environment and for Haverhill residents, but remains disappointed that so many other concerns have been dismissed purely based on planning law.”

It is now up to Mr Sills whether he will appeal the decision or not.

For the full story and all the latest news see Thursday’s (February 13) Echo.