Shepham wind farm gets the go ahead on appeal

Campaign posters against the Shepham wind farm ENGSUS00120120530121605
Campaign posters against the Shepham wind farm ENGSUS00120120530121605

Shepham wind farm has been given the green light following a planning appeal.

A planning inspector overturned Wealden District Council’s decision to refuse the scheme and gave permission for three turbines, each 115 metres high, to be erected on land just off Shepham Lane.

The applicant, Regeneco Ltd, originally applied to Wealden to erect five wind turbines back in 2012 but withdrew its application at the eleventh hour before submitting a revised application for three turbines.

Residents in the area raised concerns about noise and said the turbines would be seen from miles around.

Wealden District Council turned the application down in February 2013.

Some local residents were celebrating but a spokesperson said the developer was ‘bitterly disappointed’, especially as the council officer had recommended it for approval.

Regeneco appealed against the decision made by Wealden’s planning committee and on January 7, planning inspector Jessica Graham overturned the refusal.

In her report she said, “The proposed development would supply renewable electricity generation of up to 7.5 MW of installed capacity, sufficient to power up to 4,000 homes,and would achieve an annual saving of up to 8,475 tonnes of carbon.

“This would make a material contribution to the attainment of the national renewable energy policy objectives set out above; it would help to improve the security of the energy supply through diversifying the range of resources,would have direct and indirect economic benefits, and would reduce carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions, thereby helping to mitigate climate change.

“These are substantial benefits which carry a great deal of weight.”

Andrew Durling from the Yes to Polegate Wind Farm group said, “We welcome this green light for the Shepham Wind Farm.

“It is great news that Sussex will be hosting much more production of energy from a renewable source.

“We have consistently supported the wind farm, because we need to play our part in the clean energy revolution that will help to keep the lights on.

“The Inspector’s decision to grant approval shows that our arguments in favour of the project were valid.”

Brenda Pollack, from Friends of the Earth, said, “Evidence shows that wind energy is a vote winner and many local people see the need for a renewable future.”