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Plans for two wind farms in Staffordshire to be resurrected  

Credit:  by Justine Halifax, Birmingham Post, www.birminghampost.net 18 August 2011 ~~

Villagers in Staffordshire who fought off two controversial wind turbine developments could see the plans resurrected.

Despite widespread opposition, it has emerged that an application for a wind farm near Tamworth and a wind turbine close to Lichfield could soon be revived.

It comes despite both bids being thrown out by Lichfield District Council.

The two companies behind the failed applications now plan to work closer with villagers in the hope that their renewable energy schemes win approval.

German firm Prowind withdrew its plans for four 420ft wind turbines at Hoggs Hill at Haunton, near Tamworth, last April, just an hour ahead of a district council planning meeting where the scheme was recommended for refusal.

About 900 residents in Haunton, Clifton Campville and Elford had objected to the plan.

Now Lichfield’s Rural East county councillor, Matthew Ellis, has revealed that Prowind looks set to submit a new, revised application for the site, which is likely to see the number of turbines reduced to three and to 250ft tall.

He also revealed that after Prowind vowed to look into involving the community in the scheme, the firm is looking into making one turbine financially beneficial to villagers.

Coun Ellis said: “It’s very likely Prowind will be putting forward a new application. I have received a call from a PR consultant, hired by Prowind to manage the community engagement, on the new proposal. He is also due to meet with local parish councils sometime in September.”

Coun Ellis also revealed that due to a recent central government announcement increasing the public subsidy further on “smaller” wind turbines that the scheme is likely to be deemed “commercially viable”.

“Clearly, in planning terms, this is a different application and as such the entire process will start again with Lichfield District Council making a decision in due course,” he added.

“I met with representatives of the local community and parish councils and they are in agreement that a public meeting should be held to discuss the latest proposals in more detail and establish the local community view once again.

“It is important that local people are fully aware about the new application and have the opportunity to attend the public meeting if they wish to.”

Letters will be sent out to residents in Clifton, Thorpe, Haunton, Harlaston and Wigginton informing them about a public meeting to discuss the plans at Harlaston Village Hall on Saturday, September 10, from 10am until 11am.

In nearby Curborough, plans for a 415ft wind turbine which had been rejected could also be revived. Severn Trent Water (STW) wants to erect the turbine at a sewage treatment works in Watery Lane, Lichfield, to supply power to about 1,398 households a year.

Residents opposed the plans on the grounds it would impact on its view of the city’s three spired cathedral and on their homes. The application was rejected by the district council as “overbearing and domineering” last year.

It was also later rejected by a government planning inspector on appeal.

But now STW is holding an open exhibition as a precursor to submitting a fresh wind turbine proposal.

Jon Beeson, STW’s renewable energy projects specialist, said: “This will be our second open exhibition. We wanted to engage with as many local residents and businesses as possible.

“We are fully aware that the community will have many questions and concerns about the prospect of a wind turbine being built in their area. A team to be on hand to discuss proposals prior to submission and take on board feedback from visitors.”

An exhibition on the plans will be held at STW’s sewage water treatment plant, off Eastern Avenue, Lichfield, on August 25, from 3pm until 8pm.

Source:  by Justine Halifax, Birmingham Post, www.birminghampost.net 18 August 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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