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Sainsbury’s turbine plan blows up a storm  

More than 230 people have objected to plans to build a wind turbine close to the Britannia Stadium.

Energy firm Ecotricity wants to create the 290ft turbine in the car park of Sainsbury’s Trentham Lakes depot.

But residents have submitted a 234-signature petition against the plans to Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s development control committee, which will consider the idea at a meeting next Wednesday.

Complaints range from its visual impact and noise nuisance to the possible distraction it would cause to drivers on the A500.

Mick Burrows, of Clermont Avenue, Hanford, said there were more suitable areas in which it could be built.

The 67-year-old said: “It’s far too close to people’s homes – 450 metres is ridiculous. It would be right in front of our living room windows.

“Environmentally, it’s a ridiculous place to put it. It’s only one mile from Stoke, and it will overshadow the new homes which have been proposed on the former Victoria football ground.

“We’re not opposed to wind turbines, but this is just an example of Sainsbury’s jumping on the band wagon for glorification.”

Joan Chapman, aged 64, who lives on the same road, said: “My husband Clive and I think it will be an eyesore, and we are concerned about the noise because wind turbines do create a whooshing sound.

“It will be right next to the incinerator and we’re worried about what kind of smells it might blow around.”

Neighbour Val Welsh, aged 68, who has lived in her bungalow for more than 40 years, added: “If Sainsbury’s are so eco-minded, why don’t they stick solar panels on their roof?”

Ecotricity wants to build a utility switch house on the site as well as the 800kW turbine.

In December last year, plans were displayed in an exhibition at Blurton’s Hollybush Centre.

If built, the turbine would result in the permanent loss of six parking spaces from Sainsbury’s employees’ car park, and the temporary loss of approximately 40 spaces during the 10-week construction period.

It would have an operational life of 25 years and would supply power primarily to the adjoining warehouse, but any surplus would feed into the national grid.

According to Ecotricity, it would generate 1.94 million units of electricity per year – equivalent to the annual domestic electricity consumption of 589 typical houses.

Three letters of support have also been sent to the city council – including one from councillor Gavin Webb, pictured , saying the proposal gives a positive image to the city which would attract investment.

Mr Webb said: “As long as it can be proved there will be no adverse effects for local residents, then I am in favour.

“If there are any issues about noise, living by the A500 and A50 is noisy in itself, and according to the application the sound of the turbine will be at a lower level to that of the road.”

The Sentinel

31 July 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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