May 16, 2011

Residents' anger as wind farm gets green light

Darlington & Stockton Times, 16 May 2011

A controversial wind farm has won Government approval after campaigners called for a public inquiry into the scheme.

Banks Developments has been cleared to start work on four, 125m turbines at Lambs Hill Farm, near Stillington.

The Lambs Hill Action Group (LHAG) asked for the planning application to be reviewed after raising concerns over how the decision was made by Stockton Borough Council.

But the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has now decided the scheme, between Darlington and Stockton, does not require further investigation.

Phil Dyke, development director of Banks Renewables said: “Our Lambs Hill proposals gathered a lot of support from a large cross-section of the local community during the extensive public consultation process we carried out.

“We were pleased that the application was recommended for approval by the council’s officers and that it was also supported by the council’s planning committee, showing their commitment to generating renewable energy at a local scale.

“We are very happy that DCLG has decided that there is no need for any further review of our planning application and that we will now be able to take this project forward.”

The scheme was approved by the council in March but the action group’s concerns led to a delay.

The group felt it was not given the opportunity to air all its concerns at the planning meeting.

And it was worried about a number of issues, including the visual impact, the close proximity to houses and potential noise disturbance.

Tom Kirby, spokesman for the group, said: “We are disappointed and bemused by the decision. We realised we were fighting a losing battle from that start but that is not a reason to fight it anyway.

“The enthusiasm for these schemes seems to be fading fast because the figures just dont back up the claims that are being made for wind farms.

“I want to make it clear we are not against sea based renewable energy generation but we do oppose land based schemes.”

The company has said that preparatory work is expected to start on site by May 2012.

URL to article: