May 11, 2011

Wind turbine bid suffers big blow

By Dave Knapper, The Sentinel, 11 May 2011

Campaigners have won their battle to stop a wind turbine from being built in their village.

More than a dozen residents gathered outside Newcastle Borough Council’s civic centre yesterday evening to protest against plans to build a 24-metre high wind turbine on Hungersheath Farm in Ashley, near Loggerheads.

And members of the authority’s planning committee voted against the proposal after concerns were raised about both the visual impact it would have on the surrounding area and safety issues.

David Leathem offers holiday accommodation at the Nags Head Farm in Blackbrook.

The 64-year-old, who was among the protesters, said: “We have three holiday cottages on the site and they would be looking out on to a wind turbine.

“I think it’s something that would drive my trade away.

“There are a lot of concerns about the proposals.”

Retired GP Martin Tommey, aged 64, from Blackbrook, was also among the protesters gathered outside the offices.

He said: “There are safety concerns, such as what would happen if the blades were to come loose.

“The fields around this proposal are used by families to pick fruit and that concerns me.”

A total of 128 residents living near the farm lodged their objections with the borough council ahead of last night’s meeting.

Laura Caulkin, of Nantwich Road, Blackbrook, said: “Noise levels from turbines themselves may be extremely disturbing and potentially create a 24-hour audible nuisance.”

Steven Lewis, also of Nantwich Road, Blackbrook, said: “Maer Hills contains species protected by law, such as bats, moths, owls, buzzards and many other species of bird life, which will be affected by the rotation of the turbine rotors themselves.”

Residents also voiced concerns over the shadow flicker caused by the blades, which could upset horses who are often ridden in the area.

It was also claimed that families living in 37 properties, located within 1,000 metres of the site, would be able to see and hear the turbine.

Tory councillor David Loades, whose ward includes Loggerheads and Whitmore, said: “There are real concerns from residents and we must listen to the local people.”

Farm owner Nick Furnival wanted to install the turbine to generate electricity for the farm.

A statement supporting the application stated: “We understand there have been a number of objections to this site and we appreciate that, in light of recent applications for much larger commercial wind farms in the area, members of the public may have concerns.

“They should be reassured that this is a single application for one farm-based turbine.”

Further support stated that the turbine could help generate 40 per cent of the farm’s electricity.

Councillors voted to reject the application by six votes to three.

URL to article: