A long-running wrangle over turbines planned near an airfield is delaying expansion plans, a boss has claimed.
The Mail has learned that plans for two 365ft-high wind turbines on the outskirts of Shotton Colliery are still in the pipeline.
Applicants from alternative energy firm A7 Energy placed an appeal with the District of Easington council on the basis that the original planning process was dealt with outside of the timescale for planning applications.
The company is seeking planning permission for the turbines on appeal.
But the news was met with dismay from airfield owner Ian Rosenvinge, who said he has plans for new hangars, disabled facilities, toilets and baby changing at the airfield, which have to be put on hold while the turbine issue remains unsolved.
All of the airfield’s plans for expansion already have planning permission.
Mr Rosenvinge added: “This is a major facelift the airfield has not had for three years.”
Bosses at the Peterlee Parachute Centre, which is based at Shotton Airfield, say the turbine plan is within a 1.5 mile safety zone around the centre.
He said that three or four months from now “you could see a more flourishing airfield”, once the plans are in place – subject to the outcome of the turbine decision.
The original turbine plan attracted 59 letters of objection, along with two petitions containing 327 signatures.
A spokesman for the District of Easington council confirmed the applicant had logged an appeal and “the outcome of that is still pending”.
Council official Alan Dobie said the original application for the turbines had been rejected by councillors but the appeal was being heard on the grounds that the first application had been heard outside of the timescale allowed.
Management at A7 Energy were not available for comment.
By Peter Tennick
22 March 2008
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