A phone company has amended its plans for a wind farm to avoid impinging on the operation of a parachute centre.
BT has revised its proposals for a wind farm near Peterlee Parachute Centre, based at Shotton Airfield.
The communications giant submitted a planning application for a wind turbine at Junction House Farm, at Easington, as part of its nationwide plans to generate up to a quarter of its electricity from wind farms.
The proposed 2.3 megawatt turbine would be sited on privately-owned land, west of Easington village and the A19 and north of Durham Lane.
There had originally been plans for a three-turbine development, but this raised concerns from bosses at the airfield, who said it would have affected their operation.
The U-turn follows previous battles which saw the airfield successfully fend off applications by A7 Energy for a similar scheme at nearby Edder Acres Farm and proposals to build a wind turbine at the AKS factory on Peterlee’s North West Industrial Estate.
Ian Rosenvinge, owner of the parachute centre, said: “We have had constructive dialogue with BT and they took on board our comments concerning the first proposal.
“There has been significant modification to their designs, reflected in this new scheme which does not compromise our parachute operation.
“There were originally plans for three turbines, two of which were in our designated safeguarding area – effectively they were in our drop zone.
“My experience with other energy companies is that they want to bulldoze their way through, but BT were excellent.”
Tom Martin, head of partnership development for BT’s Wind for Change programme, said: “Over the past year we have been progressing our proposals and have worked hard to address some specific concerns raised by Peterlee Parachute Centre.
“As a result of these discussions and work carried out by independent environmental consultants, the original proposals for a three-turbine development have been revised and we are now progressing with plans for a single wind turbine on this site.”
Durham County Council will post details outlining receipt of the planning application through notices at the site, in the local media, on its website and by notifying any adjoining land owners or occupiers directly.
A copy of the planning application is also available to view at Easington Area Planning Office, council offices, Seaside Lane, Easington Colliery.
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