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Last Updated: Friday, 21 November, 2003, 15:25 GMT
Wind farm plan dropped
Wind turbines
The plan has been scrapped because of conservation concerns
Plans for six wind turbines in West Norfolk have been scrapped after protests from wildlife conservation groups and villagers.

Ecotricity, the country's leading green energy supplier, said it was withdrawing plans to build the turbines at Sedgeford.

Two months ago villagers in Shipdham won their two-year battle to stop Ecotricity building two 100-metre turbines in the village.

On Friday the company said it was dropping the Sedgeford wind farm plan because of concerns about the possible effect on nature conservation areas in the Wash and on the Norfolk coast.

As a company we are committed to conserving the environment
Dale Vince, of Ecotricity
Ecotricity's managing director Dale Vince said: "We've talked to our partner the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, together with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and English Nature and taken on board their comments on the potential interference with breeding grounds.

"As a company we are committed to conserving the environment.

"Developing renewable energy production is crucial to addressing the threat from climate change, but we will not do this at the expense of wildlife."

He said despite the fact that it was a good site for wind energy production, managers were convinced that withdrawing the planning application, submitted to King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council, was the right thing to do.

Conservation organisations have welcomed the move.

Internationally important

Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) chief executive Tony Richardson said: "The site at Sedgeford supports internationally important numbers of pink-footed geese and construction of wind turbines in the area would have had a significant effect on their local populations.

"It is reassuring for us to see Ecotricity reconciling the need for alternative sources of energy with the conservation of British wildlife."

Conservation interests

RSPB conservation officer for Norfolk Rob Lucking said: "This decision demonstrates the value of working together to identify sites where renewable energy can be developed without risk to nature conservation interests."

The Sedgeford Hall Wind Park would have provided environmentally-friendly electricity for more than 7,000 local homes.

Ecotricity operates two big turbines supplying electricity in Swaffham.

Power flows at windfarm
21 Nov 03  |  Wales
Village victory in turbines battle
18 Sep 03  |  Norfolk
Wind farm bases sunk into seabed
28 Oct 03  |  Norfolk

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