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Storm of protest at wind farms  

Angry residents opposing controversial plans for the region’s first wind farm in Staffordshire have told bosses behind the scheme it would blight the lives of thousands.

Feelings ran high at a public meeting in Heath Hayes Library last night, where representatives of Harworth Power, a subsidiary of UK Coal which has submitted the plans, were on hand to outline the scheme.

The proposals for a wind farm at the former Bleak House opencast mining site, between Burntwood and Heath Hayes, has caused outrage.

People living in the surrounding areas say the three turbines would be too close to their houses and scar the local landscape.

Lorraine Astbury, from Wimblebury, said: “That place is actually the last area of beautiful landscape around here. We’re imploring Cannock Chase Council to have a bit of respect.”

Other concerns raised included the impact of the facility on property prices, and potential noise levels.

Critics also say the wind farm would not produce enough power to make it a worthwhile development.

Ian Parker, a project manager at Harworth Power, said it was simply “the fear of the unknown” that was causing residents to protest.

But Mike Luckett, who worked in Environmental Health in Devon before moving to Brisbane Way, Wimblebury, in 2002, believes the Bleak House site is unsuitable.

He said: “I’m fully in favour of wind farms, but climate change is one issue, people’s homes and their lives are another, and equally important. This is about greed, not about being green.”

Express & Star

7 February 2008

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