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Fears at new turbine bid for the Bagots Park site

Campaigners who successfully fought plans for a wind farm on idyllic countryside near Uttoxeter have been left disappointed after new plans for the site emerged.

The Advertiser can reveal that proposals for a giant wind turbine more than 250ft (76.2m) high with a maximum capacity of 500kw at Bagots Park near Abbots Bromley are soon to be submitted to East Staffordshire Borough Council.

Although not the eight turbines that have been previously earmarked for the site before planners rejected them earlier this year, the emergence of the plans has left residents concerned one may lead to more should it receive the green light.

Mark Newstead, of Hobb Lane, Marchington, who formed the Abbots Bromley and Marchington Woodlands Wind Farm Action Group in 2000, said the news was ‘disappointing’.

He said: “The local population and council have spoken but now it looks like they are trying to come in through the back door.

“If you get planning permission for one, others will follow – that’s the worry and it seems pretty transparent to me.” The proposals have been revealed in a ‘screening opinion’ document submitted by renewable energy consultancy firm Arcus to see whether the council will require them to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) before a full planning application is submitted.

Mr Newstead said: “Arcus work for all the big wind farm developers so they have worked with Airtricity and SSE Renewables so whether they are behind the plans or they have sold the rights on to another developer we will have to wait and see.

“We will be ready and waiting. I am very disappointed but ready to fight against it.” SSE Renewables, who were behind the wind farm scheme rejected by planners earlier this year, confirmed to the Advertiser that they have no involvement in the project.

Roger Jarman, chairman of Abbots Bromley Parish Council, said the amount of power the turbine could generate would not be worth the ‘blight on the landscape’ it would create.

He said: “One or two is not as bad as eight but the amount of power that that one turbine would generate is totally insignificant.

“One turbine will still be very visible and will still be a blight on the landscape. We have not had a meeting to discuss the plans but from private conversations I’ve had I can say we are all very disappointed.

“What worries me about planning in general is that someone might say it’s only one not eight and will give it approval but once you get one and it would be easier to get a second so it might eventually be a wind farm by stealth.”