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Wind farm saga is nearing endgame  

Credit:  By James Brindle, Burton Mail, www.burtonmail.co.uk 8 March 2011 ~~

A lengthy saga over controversial plans for a £30 million wind farm in the East Staffordshire countryside could come to an end this month.

SSE Renewables, formerly Airtricity, first sought permission for the development of eight 363ft (110m) tall turbines at Bagot’s Park, near Abbots Bromley, in 2007.

Last year, East Staffordshire Borough Council received updated information on the proposals from SSE Renewables which it had previously requested and the plans will finally go before a special planning committee meeting on Thursday, March 31.

The proposals continue to spark protests from concerned nearby residents who fought off a similar scheme by renewable energy firm ABEnergy five years ago.

SSE Renewables claims the park could supply up to a quarter of East Staffordshire households and could generate millions of pounds for the local economy and 25 jobs during construction.

However the majority of residents remain adamant the rural setting is the wrong location.

East Staffordshire Borough Council member Robert Hardwick, who represents the Crown wards which he says would be adversely affected if the proposal was approveds said he hoped the arguments against the scheme would win the day.

He said: “It is with mixed emotions that I welcome the opportunity to get the planning application determined, as it has been hanging over the communities of Marchington Woodland, Marchington, Abbots Bromley and Kingstone for the best part of a decade.

“We have seen two wind farm developers walk away from this problematic site and we were rather hopeful when everything went quiet for so long that SSE Renewables was going to do the same.

“Bagot’s Park is a low wind site and in my opinion not a good location for generating energy from the wind.

“Neither is it a good location with regard to its impact on local residents, landscape and wildlife.

“Having read the strong planning arguments against this development that have come from all quarters, I am hoping that these arguments win the day and we can rid this blight which has hung over these communities for too long.”

Roger Jarman, chairman of Abbots Bromley Parish Council, which has long objected to the scheme, said it would be making representations at the public meeting.

He said: “We very much have concerns.

We objected the first time round and will do so again this time round.

“With decisions like this you can never be confident, but we hope they consider the lives of the people living in this area.”

The meeting to decide the fate of the plans takes place at 6pm on Thursday, March 31 at Burton Town Hall.

Source:  By James Brindle, Burton Mail, www.burtonmail.co.uk 8 March 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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