Protesters fighting controversial plans for a wind farm between two Teesside villages have threatened to “lie in the road” to stop the development.
A series of consultation events have taken place in the last few days into the proposals for five turbines between Hilton and Seamer near Yarm.
Broadview Energy, the company proposing the 125-metre high turbines, said around 158 residents attended the four consultations.
The company claim 51% of those who attended have been in favour of the proposals, 38% were against and 11% were undecided.
But protest group Seamer and Hilton Windfarm Action Group, led by Dr Chris Gibbs and Dr Leo Hicks, were at the final consultation at Hilton Village Hall last night, have promised to fight the plans all the way.
Hilton resident and fellow action group member Dave Simpson said: “This is not going ahead. We are going to stop it. It is wasted money. The more money they put into research, the more they waste.
“They won’t get their trucks through here because I’ll be lying in the road stopping them. We are here for life. These people come and go and the sooner they go the better.”
Concerns over visual impact and air traffic safety have been raised by residents. Last night protesters claimed the wind on the site would be insufficient to be profitable and that the scheme would need to be subsidised.
But Jeff Corrigan, managing director of Broadview, said: “The only way we make money is to make electricity so the only way we can make money is if the wind turbine moves. We are confident the wind speed is adequate. I think people want to understand the contribution it makes to our electricity supply. The fact is it will produce enough to supply 8,000 homes.”
Mr Corrigan said he was pleased to meet residents over the last few days, adding: “It is important that we engage with the community and we’ve been able to listen to some concerns and answer lots of questions from people in and around the area.”
Government targets aim to increase the amount of energy produced from renewable sources from 5% at present to 10% by 2010.
Stockton South MP Dari Taylor has backed protesters, saying: “Wind farms have their place out in the North Sea or on redundant parts of MOD land, but not in beautiful countryside.
“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.”
by Andrew Pain, Evening Gazette
5 June 2008
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