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Wind farm 'move' generates petition call  

Families in Chase Terrace are being urged to petition Cannock Chase District Council to turn down a controversial wind farm plan on the site of the former Bleak House opencast mine site.

A county councillor has spoken out about the plan which he claims has been moved closer to homes in Chase Terrace and further from those in Heath Hayes.”Residents are becoming increasingly more concerned at the prospect of a three-turbine wind farm right on their doorstep,” claimed Councillor Eric Drinkwater.

He has called on energy firm Harworth Power, part of UK Coal, to find a site that does not have such an impact on residential areas.

“It is being listed as in the Heath Hayes area. Due to Harworth’s own consultation exercise, the plan has been scaled down from five turbines to three but has been moved much closer to Chase Terrace. In fact one of the turbines is almost on the boundary,” Cllr Drinkwater warned.

“This means that any ill-effects and visual intrusion will be felt right across Chase Terrace, particularly in the roads closest to the old Bleak House mining area.”

Cllr Drinkwater urged anyone wanting to be involved in collecting names for a petition to contact him, and for everyone with concerns to lodge their comments with planning services officer John Heminsley at Cannock Chase District Council.

The application comes after a four-year feasibility, design and consultation process.

Copies of the non-technical summary, environmental statement and other information supporting the application can be viewed at Cannock Chase District Council office, Heath Hayes Library and Burntwood Library, and at www.harworthpower.com/wp-bleakhouse .

Cannock Chase Council is expected to rule on the application later this year.

Original plans for a five-turbine wind farm were scaled down after a public exhibition more than two years ago. The scheme was subsequently modified, with three turbines – capable of producing 6.0-6.9 megawatts of renewable energy, sufficient to meet the needs of up to 3,400 homes – now planned.

Harworth Power’s wind energy director Eric Adams said: “This a further phase in the planning process needed to enable us to contribute to the national focus on producing cleaner sustainable energy in an environmentally acceptable way, which the Bleak House scheme is designed to achieve.

“We would encourage local residents to take the opportunity to view the application documents to find out more about the scheme.”

If the scheme is subsequently approved, construction of the turbines would take around six months following the appointment of contractors.

Once operational, the electricity the turbines generate would result in reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen.

The company says the project would also help achieve government greenhouse gas reduction targets, contribute to the UK’s goal of producing 10 per cent of the nation’s electricity needs from renewable sources by 2010 and 15 per cent by 2015.

Lichfield Mercury

31 January 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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