December 18, 2010

Campaigners wary of more turbine plans

By David Roberts, Chief Reporter (Darlington), The Northern Echo, 18 December 2010

Campaigners against a wind farm development have said any revised plans to reduce turbine numbers are a step in the right direction.

However, they have warned other proposed wind farms close to the Moor House site, near Darlington, could still lead to an over-proliferation in the area.

Banks Renewables, the developers behind the Moor House wind farm, has said it is considering a new application for six turbines.

The original application, to build ten turbines on land to the north-east of Barmpton, was refused by Darlington Borough Council last month.

However, Banks says it has not ruled out appealing against the original refusal.

It is hoped that any amended plan will address concerns about the site’s capacity, given as one of the main reasons for the original scheme’s rejection.

An environmental assessment would be carried out and it is hoped this would also reduce fears raised by local residents.

Phil Dyke, development director of Banks Renewables, said he was disappointed the original application, which had been recommended for approval by planning officers, was rejected.

“There is capacity for ten turbines on the site and Moor House is still a suitable scheme for the location, but we also appreciate the concerns raised by some local residents during the public consultation process we carried out.”

He added that if the best way of tackling those concerns was by reducing turbine numbers, then that would be examined.

Peter Wood, from the Seven Parishes Action Group (Spag), which was set up to oppose wind farm developments in the area, said he still had concerns over the number of wind farms proposed close to Moor House.

He said: “It’s a step in the right direction that they’re considering reducing the turbines from ten to six.

“But we don’t know exactly what they’re planning.

“There are national guidelines which state each separate wind farm should be separated by at least five kilometres.

“There are four or five sites proposed in our immediate area, all within five kilometres of each other, and obviously we want to make sure national guidelines are followed.”

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