Stoke-by-Clare: Go-ahead for wind monitoring mast at Canhams Fam

AN energy company is to build a temporary 80m wind monitoring mast near Clare after it won an appeal against St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

South Suffolk Wind Energy applied to erect the temporary structure on land at Canhams Farm near Stoke-by-Clare in December last year.

After a site visit by a Department for Communities and Local Government inspector on September 18, planning permission was granted for a mast at the site for three years.

The appeal was lodged against the failure of the council to determine the application within the statutory time period.

According to a report by the inspector, Simon Warder, the main issue with the application was the effect the mast could have on the character and appearance of the area, which is open agricultural land.

He concluded that although the mast would be visible from Brockley Green, Mount Pleasant and Chilton Street – all situated around 1.3miles away – the visual impact of the ‘slender’ structure would be limited. There has been considerable concern about the proposal among nearby residents, who fear the mast could develop into a wind farm scheme at the site.

But in the report, Mr Warder said: “Whilst the appellant’s intention is to use the information gathered from the wind monitoring mast to assess the viability of a wind farm at the site, the current proposal must be determined on its own merits.

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“I cannot take into account the potential effects of a wind farm at the site, and nor should anything in this decision be construed as prejudging the acceptability or otherwise of any subsequent wind farm proposal.”

Earlier this month, West Coast Energy (WCE) submitted an application to St Edmundsbury Borough Council for consent to build a 78metre tall turbine in Chilton Street near Clare.

The location is near the spot where a similar project was shelved earlier this year because there wasn’t sufficient wind.

Clare Town Council has opposed the plans for the wind monitoring mast.

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