Controversial plans for a giant wind turbine – as tall as six Angels of the North stacked on top of each other – have been revived by a South Tyneside shipyard.
A fresh planning application for the huge riverside scheme has been submitted to South Tyneside Council by A&P Tyne at Hebburn.
If the green scheme wins approval, it would be one the biggest structures ever seen on the Tyne.
But local councillors and residents in Hebburn Village, which backs on to the yard, are set to oppose the plans as strongly as they did first time round.
The previous application was withdrawn by A&P Tyne last year, but the outsize dimensions of the turbine are exactly the same in the new plan.
Reaching a maximum height to its blade tip of more than 120m, the turbine would dwarf similar structures at the Eco Centre in Hebburn and Washington’s Nissan plant.
The tower alone would be 80m high, with each of the three blades measuring 46.25m.
A council planning spokesman said: “The dimensions of the resubmitted application are the same.”
Coun Joe Abbott, a Hebburn North member for the riverside area, said: “This wind turbine would be just too big and totally out of place.
“It would be one of the tallest in the country, and wouldn’t blend in with the cranes.
“I have already spoken to a couple of residents in Hebburn Village, and I know locals are not happy with the fresh application.
“I have advised them to again put their objections down in writing as part of the new consultation process.”
Objections to the earlier scheme were lodged by residents, the Ministry of Defence and Newcastle International Airport.
But the original plan was backed by borough officials of Friends of the Earth (FoE), who say there is a need for wind turbines on the Tyne’s established industrial sites and to create jobs in the clean renewable energy sector.
A&P Tyne plans to use some of the electricity generated by the wind turbine to power its planned ship recycling scheme at the Hebburn yard.
David Skentelbery, managing director of north-east business for A&P, said: “The size of the turbine was never the issue but the contents of our application document, which has been resubmitted.
“A&P is a very green company and, of course, we want to reduce our carbon footprint.”
Council planners must make a recommendation on the scheme by the end of next month.
By Terry Kelly
18 February 2008
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