Still no decision on Norfolk prison wind turbine
Victoria LeggettThe county's new prison is no closer to getting a renewable energy source on its site at Scottow after councillors failed to decide whether to allow a wind mast to be put up there.Victoria Leggett
The county's new prison is no closer to getting a renewable energy source on its site at Scottow after councillors failed to decide whether to allow a wind mast to be put up there.
Partnership for Renewables, acting on behalf of HMP Bure, had applied to put up a 70m monitoring mast on the former RAF Coltishall base to find out whether it would be suitable for a wind turbine.
The prison's planning permission contains a condition which means it must secure at least 10pc of its energy from renewable sources and had hoped a three-year test would discover whether the wind power was an option.
But North Norfolk District Council's planning committee yesterday chose to defer its decision in order to ask the applicant to see if data was already available without the need for a monitoring mast.
Several councillors also raised concerns that the erection of a mast, and its potential to lead to a wind turbine, could jeopardise future uses of the rest of the Scottow site.
TAG Aviation had expressed an interest in setting up an airliner decommissioning project on the remainder of the airbase and a wind turbine could prove a major obstacle to that plan.
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But head of planning Steve Oxenham told councillors they should base their decision 'on the application in front of you, not the application you fear could follow'.
He insisted granting permission for a monitoring mast did not mean an application for a turbine was inevitable - and if one was received, it could still be refused.
Councillor Cath Wilkins said the option of deferring a decision would also give TAG Aviation an opportunity to indicate whether the erection of a monitoring mast0 would encourage it to look for an alternative site.