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Residents launch wind farm battle  

Angry residents have joined together to protest against plans to build giant wind turbines near their homes.

The Mail revealed earlier this month how energy company E.ON UK had applied to Sedgefield Borough Council to build 10 wind turbines at Butterwick Moor, north of the A689 and east of Sedgefield. If approved, the development would be built next door to the already-approved Walkway wind farm which will see a further seven turbines constructed.

Around 50 locals have formed an action group called Sedgefield and Wynyard against Turbines (SWAT) in a bid to stop the Butterwick development. Ian and Lynne Harbottle are leading the fight from their home at the Brocks Farm, which would be less than a mile away from one of the 330ft-tall turbines.

“It is far too close and I can’t imagine what they would look like,” said Ian, 55, who breeds horses on the farm.

“Our lives are outside. They are not behind double-glazed windows. This is a very picturesque area and this will have a dramatic effect on the wildlife.

“Nobody is opposed to renewable energy in the right places, but this is taking the mick.” Mr Harbottle said locals were particularly concerned about the site of the turbines, the noise they created and the effect on the local wildlife.

Around 200 residents have signed a petition against the proposed development and are being encouraged to write to the council.

A spokesman for E.ON said: “We take every step to ensure our wind farm proposals are developed with the greatest care for the local community and environment through detailed studies of the local landscape and ecology.

“We believe that Butterwick Moor presents an excellent site for a wind farm.

“We have carried out a full environmental impact assessment which includes the likely visual and environmental impact of the scheme.”

A public meeting is taking place at Sedgefield parish hall on Thursday at 7.30pm. Representatives from E.ON and the council will be present to answer questions.

Last Updated: 31 January 2007


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