Plans for a wind turbine near Church Eaton have been submitted to South Staffordshire Council sparking concerns from residents about the timing of the bid.
wo applications, one for a temporary 70m wind monitoring mast and one for six 126-metre high (base-to-tip) wind turbines, an 80-metre anemometry mast and associated infrastructure, have been submitted by Bristol-based Wind Prospect for land at New House Farm, Brineton.
Nearby residents have been campaigning against the proposals for more than 18 months, fearing the turbines will wreck the countryside and send house prices plummeting.
Several residents have contacted borough councillor Barry Stamp with concerns about the timing of the applications which were received and validated just days before Christmas.
Tony Lendon, chairman of King Street Stag (Stop Turbine Action Group) said residents remained in limbo despite the plans finally being submitted to the council.
Stag members offered advice and support to residents in Church Eaton, Wheaton Aston and the surrounding areas who wish to submit comments to South Staffordshire Council.
Mr Lendon said: “If (Wind Prospect) get permission we will still be in limbo for two or three years while they get the readings from the mast.
“Objections have to be in by January 16, but because it was submitted in the Christmas period, it leaves us with just days to get things done. They could have picked a better time.” Wind Prospect had planned to submit the application at the beginning of 2010 but delayed it over access concerns.
Councillor Stamp wrote to South Staffordshire Council Leader Councillor Brian Edwards and Andy Johnson, director of planning and strategic services, urging them to extend the deadline for public comments, which had been this week.
He said: “Over the past year residents in the Church Eaton area have been living with the threat of six huge wind turbines just over the council boundary in South Staffordshire. This is an extremely controversial application that will affect many residents living in my ward “The application by Wind Prospect to develop the site has been the subject of various delays. It does seem rather coincidental that this particular application has been made just a few days before Christmas.
I have been contacted by a number of residents wondering if this was why the application was made at this time.” Paul Grimshaw, a development engineer at Wind Prospect, said the company had discussed extending the consultation deadline with South Staffordshire Council so people would have time to comment on the application.
“It’s unfortunate it was submitted around Christmas but it was by no means deliberate.
We are open to suggestions about any other things we can do to make sure people have time to have their say,” he said.