Controversial plans for a massive riverside wind turbine in South Tyneside have been scrapped, it was revealed today.
A&P Tyne yard at Hebburn submitted a planning application for the huge structure, which would have been as tall as six Angels of the North on top of each other, reaching a maximum height to its blade tip of 416ft.
But the Gazette understands objections to the huge turbine were lodged by both the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Newcastle International Airport.
Welcoming the news, Coun Joe Abbott, for Hebburn North ward, said: “I think this wind turbine would have had a negative visual impact on the area.
“I supported those residents who objected to the scheme and I’m glad it’s been withdrawn.
“I believe the MoD and the airport were concerned about the size of the structure interfering with radar and flight paths.”
Resident Ray Stickley, whose home in Agincourt, Hebburn Village, overlooks the A&P Tyne yard, said: “I’m glad this plan has been withdrawn, because this wind turbine would have been an eyesore.
“It would have been right on top of local residents and there was a strong feeling around here that we didn’t want it.”
A&P Tyne planned to use some of the electricity generated by the wind turbine to power its planned ship recycling scheme at the riverside yard.
The company argued the cost-saving scheme would have reduced its carbon footprint and safeguarded hundreds of jobs.
And the wind turbine project also received the backing of Bryan Atkinson, South Tyneside spokesman for Friends of the Earth (FoE).
He said: “I’m disappointed this plan has been withdrawn. It would be great to see Britain regain the lead in renewable energy.
“And it would be fantastic if the Tyne’s underused shipyards could be redeployed to design and manufacture wind turbines.”
A&P Tyne’s future plans include recycling various ships, ranging from barges, boats and buoys to merchant vessels and modules, gas platforms to submarines and semi-submersibles.
A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said: “We can confirm that the wind turbine application has been withdrawn.”
No one at A&P Tyne was available for comment.
By Terry Kelly
23 October 2007
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