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Anger over wind farm monitoring mast proposal  

Credit:  Darliington & Stockton Times, www.darlingtonandstocktontimes.co.uk 28 January 2011 ~~

Residents living near the site of a proposed wind farm are angry after plans were submitted for a new weather monitoring mast.

Broadview Energy has applied to Stockton Borough Council to erect a 10.26m-high meteorological mast for 12 months on the land between Seamer and Hilton. But those living nearby say the move is an “intrusion on the landscape”.

Broadview Energy wants to build five 125m-high turbines on farmland between the two villages, plus a control building.

It secured permission for the wind farm last year, despite strong opposition from the Seamer and Hilton Wind Action Group (SHWAG).

The company previously had a 60m-high temporary mast, but this has been taken down following the expiration of a 24- month period. If approval is granted, the mast will be erected on land within the boundary of the proposed wind farm.

The temporary mast would be used to collect data, which would be passed on to the National Grid to help it assess the impact of the turbines on overhead power lines.

It would consist of a central mast with equipment attached and four guy wires extending from 4.9m high to ground level.

More than 40 objections have been submitted and nine councillors on Hilton Parish Council are against the development.

The main objections relate to the impact of the development on the character and appearance of the area, surrounding views and the fact there has already been a wind monitoring mast in position.

Doug Wallace, resident of Hilton and a member of SHWAG, said: “The way people in Hilton feel, this is just another intrusion on the landscape.

They had a mast and they took it down – why do they need to put another one up? There is a mast nearby at the weather station; they can use that instead of putting another one up.”

Planning officers at Stockton Borough Council are recommending the application be approved.

It will be discussed by the council planning committee at 1.30pm on Wednesday.

Source:  Darliington & Stockton Times, www.darlingtonandstocktontimes.co.uk 28 January 2011

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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