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Estate ready for M6 turbine fight  

Credit:  The Sentinel, www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk 30 August 2011 ~~

Residents are fighting plans to erect a wind turbine near their homes.

Moto Hospitality has applied for permission to put up a single 330kW wind turbine on land at the Stafford North services, off the M6 motorway.

The 61.1-metre turbine would power the motorway service area and, at times, feed electricity into the National Grid.

It is expected to create enough to supply 169 homes for 12 months and to be in place for 25 years.

Moto Hospitality says the turbine would create publicity for the site and expects to attract additional customers as a result, increasing income and indirectly creating more jobs.

But residents say it will affect their quality of life.

Brian Carter, chairman of Lakesedge Residents’ Association, lives on the nearest housing development in Eccleshall Road, Stone.

He is preparing to speak at a council meeting on behalf of 14 households on his estate and others nearby when the plans will be decided tomorrow night.

Mr Carter said: “Our environment is now threatened by the erection of a wind turbine for the next 25 years which will not only be visible above the current hedgerows and trees due to the turbine’s height, but also to the constant drone that will be emitted if the development is allowed to proceed.”

His speech to councillors will add: “If you approve this development, you will be inflicting a detrimental effect on the locality that will affect no fewer than 47 households with the nearest only 329 metres from the proposed site of the turbine.”

But despite the concerns, planning officers have recommended members of Stafford Borough Council’s planning committee approve the plans with conditions.

A report produced ahead of the meeting reads: “Overall it is still not considered that the proposal would have such a significant impact as to be of detriment to the landscape character particularly when weighed against the contribution to offsetting the adverse effects of climate change as a renewable energy source.”

If the scheme goes ahead, a smaller, temporary wind monitoring mast will be installed for 18 months to test the suitability of the site.

A spokesman for the scheme said: “Moto Hospitality Ltd are the UK’s largest provider of motorway service areas.

“They are undertaking a variety of work to reduce their overall carbon footprint, which includes identifying ways to reduce energy demand on all their sites, as well as looking at renewable energy technologies to offset their electricity usage.

“The potential for wind turbine schemes has been reviewed for all their sites and Stafford is considered to be one of the most suitable.

“The wind turbine is a key part of Moto’s sustainability drive and will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the Stafford service area.”

Officers have also recommended conditions are attached to the planning permission.

These include restricting noise levels during the night and another that the turbine must be removed within six months of it ceasing to be used.

Source:  The Sentinel, www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk 30 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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