Mother wins battle to block new wind farm because the windmills could ‘make her son go blind’

February 3, 2015 | by | 0 Comments
Karen Robinson with her son Ronnie Robinson (9) in their garden

Karen Robinson with her son Ronnie Robinson (9) in their garden

A mother who objected to a proposed wind farm because she feared it could make her visually-impaired son go blind has won her battle after councillors rejected it.

Ronnie Robinson, aged nine, has limited vision and his eyes cannot cope with changing light conditions because he was born with primary congenital glaucoma.

Developers wanted to put nine wind turbines up to 127m tall on land between Clenchwarton and Terrington St Clement in Norfolk right on their doorstep.

His mum Karen said ‘shadow flicker’ from the turbines could make Ronnie disorientated – and the slightest knock to his head could rid him of the little sight he still has.

She also feared Ronnie would be bugged by the noise of the turbines and increased traffic to the site as his hearing is extra sensitive to compensate for his lack of sight.

But West Norfolk councillors turned down the plan on Monday night because of the height of the turbines and the effect it would have on nearby residents.

Karen said: “We’re obviously delighted, but I’m looking at it as a short victory for now.

“This is only the first decision so there’s every chance they will appeal. But I’m glad the planners have taken the side of the people.”

Karen and husband Peter, 47, who have three other children, moved to Clenchwarton in Norfolk from Hertfordshire five years ago specially for their son.

Karen and Peter, a chimney sweep, were so concerned about they plans they submitted several objections to the council against the project.

Ronnie, who has undergone 15 operations to treat his condition, also sent a letter opposing the Ongarhill development.

He wrote: “I live here in a happy environment and will not be able to if this development proceeds.

“Please let me grow up in the beautiful and safe environment and enjoy the few pleasures I have as a severally (sic) visually impaired child.”

Alexandra Kemp, a Norfolk county councillor, agreed with the planning committee’s decision.

She said: “These will be gigantic. They will swamp the area and are not appropriate.”

North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham urged the company not to appeal the decision – as it would “waste money.”

Developers Coriolis Energy had assured residents conditions attached to any permission and technology on the turbines would prevent shadow flicker affecting residents.

Cath Ibbotson, project manager at Coriolis Energy, said: “We are disappointed as the plans were recommended for approval.

“It was quite a balanced decision, it was very close but that’s just the way things go.

“Karen Robinson spoke very well and we put forward the remedy we proposed in response to her concerns.

“All we can do now is consider our options. We haven’t yet decided on whether we will appeal.”

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