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Council chiefs fight back over Redcar wind farm  

The green light for a wind farm off Redcar is to be challenged in the High Court.

Redcar and Cleveland Council has confirmed it will contest the Government’s decision to allow EDF Energy’s proposed wind farm.

Permission was granted last September for the controversial scheme to proceed, without a public inquiry.

Now the council will challenge that decision in the High Court on March 13.

The council said it was acting on behalf of 6,500 people who objected to Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, John Hutton.

The hearing will decide whether the council can apply for a judicial review of the Secretary of State’s decision. The action, the council says, is because it “believes that weight of public opinion needs to be supported.”

Council leader, Councillor George Dunning, said: “The council is pursuing the matter on behalf of the 6,500 residents who made known their objections to the scheme but were disappointed when the Secretary of State did not even call for a public inquiry into the application, but instead granted it himself in the face of all of these objections.

“The council fully supports renewable energy concepts. However, the residents of this borough strongly oppose this scheme and have expressed concerns about the detrimental impact on our borough of 30 huge wind turbines so close to the shoreline at Redcar.

“It is our duty to make sure their voices are properly heard.”

The council’s deputy leader, Councillor Sheelagh Clarke, also Cabinet member for culture, leisure and tourism, said: “We have a fantastic coastline which brings enjoyment to many people all year round and big plans to regenerate Redcar so that even more visitors will be able to spend quality time here.

“Thirty wind turbines on the shoreline will ruin the visitor experience forever.”

There has been a long-running bid to bring an offshore wind farm to Redcar, with the Evening Gazette first reporting on proposals back in 2001.

Opponents say the plans are too close to the shore and contain too many turbines.

Last month, a barge carrying out preliminary drilling tests broke free and ended up beached at Redcar.

EDF Energy “notes” the council’s challenge but declined to comment because it relates to Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform process and procedures.

by Dave Robson

Evening Gazette

21 February 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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