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Protesters’ fears over Stillington wind farm plan  

Credit:  by Lindsey Mussett, Evening Gazette, www.gazettelive.co.uk 25 April 2011 ~~

Concerned residents living near to a planned wind farm development have taken action to contest the decision to allow it to go ahead.

People living in areas surrounding the proposed Lambs Hill wind farm west of Stillington, near Stockton, have had a “holding direction” placed on a planning application for the site, meaning work cannot go ahead until further consideration is given to it.

Stockton Council’s planning committee gave the development the go-ahead last month, but this latest action means permission is halted until Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for communities and local government, has given consideration to whether it should be referred to him.

The development, by Banks Renewables, would see four 125m-high turbines installed at the site, with a power facility within the Stillington Industrial Estate.

At an emotional meeting last month, 17 members of the public – on both sides of the argument – had their say before the decision was made. Committee members reached a 6-6 deadlock in voting, and a ruling decision was made to go with the officers’ recommendation for approval.

Now, residents from the nearby Bishopton Crossings and Foxton areas have joined together to form the Lambs Hill Action Group. Spokesman Tom Kirby said: “We are all appalled that this was allowed through.

“We managed to get a holding notice put on, which is a mandatory stall, and that runs only until Tuesday.

“These turbines are less than 750m from the nearest house. At 125m they will be almost as tall as the London Eye and six times the height of the Angel of the North.”

The group say they also have concerns over “health issues” and “potential noise nuisance”. Mr Kirby, an engineer, added: “We also feel that there has been some misinformation surrounding the application. Some residents were under the impression they would benefit from cheaper electricity and that the power generated will be used locally. It is not possible to route the electricity in this way.

“We’ve also been told that Lambs Hill has the capability to power 5,500 homes – in what way, for how long? We are pleased that the Secretary of State is considering calling in the application.”

A Banks spokesman said: “Banks Renewables has been working for more than two years on the planning application. We have involved the community throughout… and there is a great deal of local support for the scheme.”

Of the review, he said: “We look forward to a prompt and positive endorsement of the council’s decision so that we can proceed with this important £13m renewable energy project.”

Source:  by Lindsey Mussett, Evening Gazette, www.gazettelive.co.uk 25 April 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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