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Guestwick windfarm bid 'not dropped yet'

PUBLISHED: 11:37 16 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:47 07 July 2010

Energy firm Enertrag has said it is not dropping its plans for a wind farm in north Norfolk despite the scheme being effectively thrown out by the high court.

Energy firm Enertrag this week remained defiant about its plans for a wind farm despite the scheme being effectively thrown out by the high court.

The company wanted to put six wind turbines up to 125m high on land at Guestwick.

But a high court judge has ruled that, although it was a finely-balanced decision, the considerable rural charm of the area, including the presence of two listed buildings, was reason enough to refuse the plans for turbines there.

The court challenge was brought by Enertrag over a planning inspector's decision to dismiss an appeal against refusal of planning consent by Broadland Council in 2005.

David Linley, manager of projects for Enertrag, said: "We are not disappointed - we knew it was a marginal challenge. The most import-ant thing is the inspector in the last inquiry said it

was a very finely-balanced situation, which means if we could improve the situation it might tip the scales.

"As far as we are concerned it is not dead until we decide it is. We are seeing if it is possible to improve the scheme."

The wind farm scheme was first announced in 2003, but opponents raised some £50,000 locally to fight it.

Robin Back, chairman of Guestwick parish meeting, which has represented other villages in the area, said he felt the principles on which the application had been thrown out would be difficult to overcome, as these were based on the landscape of the area and mention of listed buildings.

But he said Enertrag, as a private developer, was free to submit a new scheme.

"Whether they put in another application or not is up to them," he said. "If and when they do we will address it accordingly."

Mr Back thought it would be difficult to see how the issues raised by the high court could be challenged unless the government decided to change the rules or legislation.

"The law as it stands at the moment has been proved to work," he added.

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