PLANS to power a Cramlington factory by wind have been knocked back.
Blyth Valley Council refused planning permission to enable Aesica Pharmaceuticals to install two wind turbines up to 140 metres high at its plant in Shotton Lane.
Although several members of the council’s development control panel felt the application was a positive step towards using renewable forms of energy, a vote concluded that the turbines would impact on radar systems in the flight path to and from Newcastle Airport.
Coun Alisdair Gibbs-Barton called on members to defer the decision to allow a possible compromise on the size of the turbines and help address objections from the airport.
He said: “This is innovative and we should encourage more applications like these.
“I move for deferral, maybe have smaller windmills within the site, whatever it takes.”
But members were told the size of the turbines were chosen to generate a specific amount of energy ““ three-bladed wind turbines, with each blade between 40 to 50 metres in length and able to generate between two to three megawatts each.
More than 20 letters of support were submitted raising issues of climate change and the need to save energy and consider alternative forms of energy, cut carbon emissions and help secure the company’s long-term future and jobs.
But Newcastle Airport says the turbines will impact on aircraft movements, creating a line of sight on the airport’s radar with the turbine shown as an object which, due to current aviation technology, could be mistaken as an aircraft.
While objectors agreed with the intention of the application, they also questioned the size, visual and environmental impacts of the turbines and called for more consideration.
The effect the turbines would have on the safe operations of Newcastle Airport were identified as the only reason for refusal of the plans.
A council report said: “It is considered that whilst the proposal is generally acceptable and the planning policy framework is generally supportive of such development, permission should be refused due to the potential impact on aircraft safety and the lack of a suitable mitigation.”
25 August 2006
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