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Hospital's turbine plans

An 80-metre wind turbine could be built to provide energy for Derby City General Hospital.

The hospital has applied to Derby City Council for planning permission to build the turbine at Manor Park, close to the A38.

It says it would provide some of the hospital’s power – amounting to 12 per cent of the hospitals trust’s total electricity usage and potentially reducing carbon dioxide emissions by more than 2,000 tonnes a year.

But the turbine, which would be built east of Northmead Drive, could prove noisy for nearby residents so council planners have asked for further surveys to see if it would breach acceptable noise levels.

Derrick Conway, the hospital’s assistant projects director, believes the noise could be reduced.

“We would have to work on a common goal rather than get into conflict over this project,” he said.

“Some people see these turbines as a blot on the landscape.

“But there is certainly no plan to create a nuisance to anyone and there are potential solutions that we have to get over.”

The cost of the turbine is estimated to run into millions of pounds and would not be built for at least two years.

It will be a minimum of 350 metres away from any houses.

Resident Goutham Arumugam, of Manor Park Court, does not think the noise would be too bad.

He said: “I don’t think it will be too concerning for me or other people living around here.

“I am used to the levels of noise created by the A38 and it isn’t that bad.

“It’s good that the hospital is looking into other ways of creating energy.”

But Stephanie Mellor, who is assistant manager of nearby Premier Inn Derby West, said noise levels might affect people staying at the hotel.

She said: “It could have a bad effect on the business because we guarantee people a good night’s sleep.

“The noise from the A38 isn’t too bad but this is just something extra on top of that. If there is a turbine close to the hotel we might have to inform customers.”

The turbine would be 300 metres from the former Manor Kingsway Hospital site, which regeneration agency English Partnerships is hoping to transform into a park and ride, a high-quality 17-acre business park and 700 homes.

Mr Conway said further noise assessments would be carried out before the proposals are taken any further and discussions would continue with English Partnerships.

By Shaun Jepson

Evening Telegraph

3 December 2007