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Plans for turbine as big as ‘Big Ben’ spark anger  

An energy firm has applied to build a 290-feet tall wind turbine close to the Britannia Stadium.

Ecotricity wants to create the turbine in the car park of Sainsbury’s Trentham Lakes depot.

The plan has angered residents, who say Stoke-on-Trent City Council did not give them a chance to object.

Details of the proposal were tied to a lamppost near the site on May 10, giving the public 21 days to raise objections.

But the notice was not dated, leading to concerns the sign may have been missed by many people before the consultation period ended.

The authority has now extended the consultation deadline to July 2 and will post a further notice to ensure that everyone has chance to have their say.

Resident Mick Burrows, below right, said there were likely to be a lot of people wishing to make representations.

He added: “They have got the Angel Of The North in Gateshead, and what will we have in Stoke-on-Trent? A wind turbine on the A500.

“I find it gobsmacking that it has even got this far.”

The city council said that as the nearest homes were more than 400 metres from the site, letters did not need to be sent to residents.

Paul Edwards, development control manager at the council said: “The city council is keen to make sure that people’s opinions are taken into consideration with all applications.

“A new dated notice will be posted by tomorrow, with the comment period ending 21 days after being re-posted.”

Ecotricity wants to create a single 800kw wind turbine with associated utility switch house and hardstanding.

In December last year plans for the scheme were shown to members of the public in an exhibition at Blurton’s Hollybush Centre.

The proposed turbine’s height of 89 metres from base to blade tip makes it only slightly shorter than Big Ben.

Mr Burrows, of Clermont Avenue, Hanford, said that people in the area were already expressing concern, and that he intended to start a petition against the scheme.

The 67-year-old added: “The extension gives us the opportunity, but the most aggravating part is that, irrespective of the 400 metres, they knew from the exhibition there were objections from a lot of residents.

“They should at least have had the courtesy to stick a notice up there as well.”

He added that he was concerned not only for the visual impact for residents, but that the development could impact on natural habitats in the River Trent and canal area.

Ecotricity managing director Dale Vince said wind energy was crucial in the battle against climate change, and that the UK needed to change its methods of producing energy.

He added: “Where we are going to get our energy from in the future is another crucial issue that wind energy offers the answer to. Wind energy is indigenous; we don’t have to compete in world markets for it and it will never run out.

“The UK has enough to power the whole country three or four times over – it’s our new North Sea Oil.

“Projects like this one in Stoke are part of this revolution in energy.”

Nobody from Sainsbury’s was available for comment.

George Oliver

The Sentinel

10 June 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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