Green campaigners today welcomed news that plans for a controversial riverside wind turbine will be resurrected in the new year.
A&P Tyne at Hebburn was forced to scrap its original plans for the turbine – which would have been as tall as six Angels of the North stacked on top of each other – following objections from residents, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Newcastle International Airport.
But now new plans are set to be submitted to South Tyneside Council for a redesigned wind turbine.
The move has been welcomed by borough officials of Friends of the Earth (FoE), who say they will back the scheme all the way.
David Skentelbery, managing dierector of North East business for A&P Tyne, said: “It’s true that we withdrew our original application, but we aim to resubmit new plans for a wind turbine, probably in the New Year.
“The overall aim of the wind turbine is to reduce our carbon footprint, and that’s why we want to proceed with the scheme.
“We will work with technical experts at Wind Direct Ltd before resubmitting our plans.”
Local residents and Hebburn North Northmember, Coun Joe Abbott, objected to the earlier wind turbine scheme, claiming it would have been an eyesore.
Reaching a maximum height to its blade tip of 416ft, the wind turbine would have been one of the biggest structures ever seen on the Tyne.
But the Gazette understands A&P Tyne will resubmit a scaled-down version to avoid future objections.
Bryan Atkinson, South Tyneside spokesman for FoE, said: “I’m delighted A&P Tyne is to resubmit its plans.
“We have a situation where planning permission is being obtained for open cast mines in Northumberland, while renewable energy schemes are being knocked back.
“As with all planning applications, local people must have their say, and I would be the first to defend their right to express their feelings.
“But we do have to generate our electricity from somewhere, and we need to be pro-active and build wind turbines on the Tyne’s established industrial sites, where cranes once stood.
“North East England should lead the way and create jobs in the clean renewable energy sector, harnessing the world-beating engineering skills that the Tyne is famous for.
“Let’s be forward-thinking and give the go-ahead to the wind turbine at A&P.”
The yard wants to use some of the electricity generated by the turbine to power its planned ship recycling scheme.
The company argues the cost-saving scheme will reduce its carbon footprint and safeguard hundreds of jobs.
By Terry Kelly
5 December 2007
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