A county councillor has warned that the area around the National Memorial Arboretum could soon be blighted if the go-ahead for a new wind farm gets the go-ahead.
German firm Prowind is hoping to get an amended plan for turbines in Haunton approved – but Cllr Matthew Ellis, who represents Lichfield Rural East, has warned that the scheme would open the flood-gates for a spate of similar schemes.
“The new Prowind proposals are smaller than the ones they withdrew last year because of a likely refusal,” he said. “But they are still substantial and the turbines are still proposed to be 340ft tall which will change the Mease Valley forever.
“But worse than that would be many dozens of turbines covering the wider area around Lichfield and Tamworth. That is very much on the cards when you see the scale and number of viable sites the renewables industry is identifying across southern Staffordshire.
“I’m supporting Harlaston, Edingale and Clifton Campville with Thorpe Constantine Parish Councils to try and establish a co-operative forum involving other parishes and communities across the area and the response I’ve received from other parish councils is very positive.
“This is not just a Mease problem. There is a real risk of vast numbers over the next few years which would change the face of the wider area forever.”
Chairman of Clifton Campville with Thorpe Constantine Parish Council, Cllr Robert Leedham, says that parishes in the wider area would be wise to start collaborative work before it’s too late.
“People in our area are alive to the challenges around energy we have,” he explained. “But that has to be balanced against the environmental damage to beautiful landscapes we all enjoy.”
Chairman of Edingale Parish Council, Cllr Janet Stonehouse agrees. She said: “It’s the risk of a successful application opening the door to dozens more as well as the fact they fundamentally change the feel and nature of the rural area. Using motorway corridors or places that are already changed would seem more sensible.”
The full application from Prowind is expected shortly but the new plans sent this week to Matthew Ellis by the company run to 459 pages. Those can be viewed on his website.
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