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Windfarm proposal  

Credit:  The Northern Echo, www.thenorthernecho.co.uk 10 September 2010 ~~

Turbines planned for near Hamsterley Forest could be smaller and fewer, a parish council has been told.

Original plans for a £20m wind farm at Windy Bank, between Woodland and the forest, detailed nine turbines which would be 125 metres tall.

But at a meeting last month, developer Banks told Hamsterley Parish Council it could revise the plans to include just six turbines 110 metres in height.

The councillors quizzed Banks’ representatives on a number of issues at the meeting at Hamsterley Village Hall, including the effectiveness of wind power and site.

Parish councillor Jonathan Peacock said revised proposals were unlikely to appease residents.

He compared the turbines to the site at nearby Tow Law, which were around 70 m high, and said the turbines could jeopardise the habitats of five species of British owl.

“Until we have the final plans, it is very difficult for the parish council to form an opinion, ” he said.

“The arguments against the wind farm on that site is there is extensive wildlife there. The wildlife is of prime importance.”

He said others feared it would spoil the landscape as the site also border the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty .

“My personal view is that it is the wrong place, ” he said.

Residents have also approached the parish council with concerns over noise pollution and the route potential workers would have to take to reach the site.

The representatives told the parish council a noise survey overestimated the decibel level.

Stewart Proven, from Banks, told the meeting that the wind farm would have no adverse effect on tourism.

The final application is expected to be submitted to Durham County Council later this autumn.

Councillors also criticised Banks’ representatives for referring to the wind farm as a done deal, but the representatives said there would be full public consultation.

Woodland Against Land-wind turbines Keystones and Hamsterley and Upper Gaunless Action Group campaigned against a monitoring mast at Woodland earlier this year, which was approved.

Source:  The Northern Echo, www.thenorthernecho.co.uk 10 September 2010

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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