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Villagers join fight

A fight against plans to erect 11 wind turbines near homes has been joined by 2,000 villagers, campaigners say.

Parish councils representing Bishopton, Great Burdon, Great Stainton, Little Stainton, Sadberge and West Newbiggin have teamed up to say the development is not welcome.

Pure Renewable Energy, based in Billingham, is carrying out site tests and no planning application has been submitted.

The company says it proposes to carry out full public consultation over the plans.

But spokesman Peter Wood, chairman of Bishopton Parish Council, said they will fight any proposals put forward for the scheme, which is earmarked for land outside Bishopton, West Newbiggin, Gilly Flatts and Little Stainton.

He said: “The proposed turbines will destroy the local countryside and dramatically affect the residents of the six villages in terms of noise, light flicker, views, television, radio and mobile phone reception.

“Let’s assume the turbines are sacrifices worth making for the good of the planet. But then again, let’s look at the facts.

“A survey of the load factors of existing wind farms in the North-east suggests they will not meet the government’s benchmarks due to lowland settings and the intermittency of winds.

“Why ruin some of the best panoramic views in the area on a whim and half-baked government policy? And there’s a threat to wildlife such as migrating birds and bats.”

Former Tyne Tees TV presenter Paul Frost, a Bishopton resident, is among the campaigners.

He said: “If this goes ahead, our quality of life and outlook will never be the same again. We chose to live in a beautiful area of the Tees Valley and these people should not be allowed to ruin it.”

by Dave Robson, Evening Gazette


6 May 2008