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Councils unite to oppose Sedgefield wind farm

Town councils have joined forces to oppose a project that could see England’s biggest wind farm built in the North-East.

The councils are responding to calls from MP Phil Wilson, who is opposing plans for up to 45 turbines on a wind farm in his Sedgefield constituency in County Durham.

Energy firm E.ON has three proposals for 29, 30 or 45 turbines with a capacity of up to 115MW, enough to power 53,000 homes, on a site east of Newton Aycliffe.

Plans are unlikely to be submitted until next year but Great Aycliffe, Sedgefield and Chilton town councils have already joined Mr Wilson to oppose them.

In addition, about 350 people have responded to a survey carried out by Mr Wilson’s office concerning the scheme known as the Isles.

Mr Wilson said: “I asked the question, ‘Do you agree with the proposal for 45 wind turbines for the Isles?’ “A massive 95 per cent of people have said simply a resounding No.”

Like Mr Wilson, the town councils are concerned because there are already a number of schemes proposed or operating in the area.

John Robinson, mayor of Sedgefield Town Council, said his council was not against wind farms in general and actually supported the first wind farm east of Sedgefield.

But he added: “However the cumulative effect of the current applications will not only overpower the whole area, but will result in Sedgefield itself being encircled by turbines.”

A spokeswoman for E.ON said: “We are just going into a period of consultation on the site, on August 31.

“We have issued three different proposals for consultation and we have extended the period of consultation, until October 7, to ensure we have got plenty of time to take in their views.”

Public consultation sessions will be held at The Xcel Centre, Newton Aycliffe, from 1pm to 8pm on September 8; Sedgefield Racecourse, from 1pm to 8pm on September 9; and Chilton and Windlestone Working Men’s Club from 9am to 2pm on September 10.

The largest wind farm in England is Scout Moor, near Rochdale, Lancashire, which has 26 wind turbines.