A Stockton MP has pledged her support to villagers fighting controversial plans for a wind farm on their doorstep.
Dari Taylor, MP for Stockton South, has visited residents in Hilton who have been leading the fight against the scheme proposed by Broadview Energy Ltd.
As reported, the company wants to build up to eight wind turbines on farmland between Hilton and Seamer villages, near the A19. The turbines could reach up to 100 metres with a 95-metre diameter.
Broadview Energy say the project will help fight climate change, is well located near to existing electricity transmission lines and has a good wind resource.
An initial survey by the company indicated the site has the capacity to provide energy for up to 8,000 homes.
Last month, Stockton Council’s planning committee refused an application for a 60m test mast to be located in a field between the two villages to gather wind data over a period of two years.
Dari Taylor met Dr Leo Hicks and retired industrial chemist Dr Doug Wallace who are leading a protest, supported by the two villages’ 400 residents. The MP told them she totally opposes wind farms when they are placed in a rural setting, spoiling the countryside.
Ms Taylor said: “Wind farms have their place out in the North Sea or on redundant parts of MOD land, but not in beautiful countryside.
“Today, the North-east supplies energy far and wide. We have pylons and overhead power lines strung out throughout Stockton south, hideously disfiguring all urban settlements – from Fairfield through Eaglescliffe into Yarm.
“Now an energy company wants to place a large wind farm across the beautiful countryside between Hilton and Seamer.
“I think they are ugly, incredibly noisy and don’t produce enough energy. I think the Government has to get itself together with solar power which has proven to be very successful and is unobtrusive.
“The residents of Hilton and Seamer have got to keep beating the drums against them.”
Dr Hicks, who has lived in Hilton for 27 years, said: “Wind farms are not farms, they are an industrial development. We are opposed to this proposal because of the visual impact it will have, the noise and the health hazard – vibroacoustic disease.”
By Mike Blackburn
12 April 2008