Farmland site for massive windfarm?

Norfolk's biggest onshore wind farm could be built on farmland near Fakenham, it emerged today. Hertfordshire-based Renewable Energy Systems (RES) is looking into creating a wind farm on land west of the town.

Norfolk's biggest onshore wind farm could be built on farmland near Fakenham, it emerged this week.

Hertfordshire-based Renewable Energy Systems (RES) is looking

into creating it on land west of the town.

News of the scheme emerged after a map showing noise emissions from a group of 30 possible turbine locations found its way into the hands of people in and around the village of Syderstone.

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But this week the firm, part of construction giant Sir Robert McAlpine Group, said it was too early to say exactly how many turbines it would propose - but that there would not be as many as 30.

At present the biggest built wind farm is of eight turbines at North Pickenham.

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And there are plans for nine turbines at Weeting, on the Norfolk-Suffolk border near Brandon.

Simon Peltenburg, project manager for RES, said the 30 sites marked on the map were potential locations for turbines, although he added: "We have already identified constraints which mean we cannot put turbines in all of those locations.

He said the firm would have a better idea of what its plans would be by mid- to late-summer, once full tests on the site had been completed, and it would then begin to consult local people and hold public exhibitions.

"We will then have a far more realistic site design which we think is environmentally-expectable and sensitive," said Mr Peltenburg.

Reg Thompson, a member of

Against Turbines at Chiplow,

a group set up to fight energy company E.on's proposed six turbines south of Syderstone, criticised RES for not telling local people of its plans earlier.

He said: "RES has been looking at this site for six years and in that time they have not issued any details of their plans.

"The main objection to this is that pink-footed geese feed here in the winter months; we get thousands of them. They come in and feed on the sugar beet tops and stubble. They fly low, and this farm could be three miles wide and three-and-a-half miles deep. Raptors would also be at risk from it."

RES has had a 70m-high anemom-eter mast at the centre of the site in Jack's Lane at Bluestone Farm, South Creake, since 2005 to monitor wind and noise. It has held talks with West Norfolk Council and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) about the scheme, too. If the proposal is more than 50mW in capacity it would have to go to the DECC for planning permission.

RES was formed about 25 years ago and calls itself an "influential leader in the global sustainable energy market". It is already building a 34-turbine wind farm at Keadby, in north Lincolnshire.

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