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Concern over potential wind farm in Newton Aycliffe

Energy firm E.ON is considering building one of England’s largest wind farms at a site in County Durham.

The firm is looking at putting between 25 and 45 turbines on farmland east of Newton Aycliffe.

No planning application has yet been lodged with Durham County Council, but the company has confirmed engineers are carrying out suitability tests.

Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson, whose constituency includes Newton Aycliffe, said the area had enough turbines.

‘Blight the area’

E.ON submitted an application for a smaller 10-turbine wind farm in the same area in 2009, which is now dormant.

A company spokesman said: “We are at the early stages of conducting surveys and other research work to establish the potential for a commercial wind farm in the area of Newton Aycliffe.

“These surveys are exploratory and should the site prove to have good potential for a wind farm, we will undertake full consultation with the local community and display presentations of the proposals ahead of any planning application.”

Labour MP Mr Wilson said: “There are too many wind farms in the Sedgefield area.

“These things are gong to blight the area. The number of applications for wind farms in the south of England are nowhere near what they are in the north.

“One of the main concerns I have is the cumulative impact of having so many wind turbines in one area.

“We run the risk of these things becoming the distinguishing feature of the landscape. Other parts of the country have to play their part.”

A five-turbine wind farm is already operating at Haswell Moor, near Peterlee and a further 10 are working at Butterwick Moor near Sedgefield.