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Local people unite to oppose wind turbines in our area  

Credit:  Coastal View & Moor News, www.coastalviewandmoornews.co.uk 29 February 2012 ~~

In Issue 13 we reported on a proposed 90m wind turbine development at Greenhills Farm, Kilton Lane, Lingdale.

Recently the proposal was turned down by Redcar & Cleveland planning committee by six votes to four.

Objections were raised by Kiltonthorpe and Lingdale residents as well as Local Councillors.

Now residents in Saltburn, Marske and New Marske are joining together to oppose new wind turbine development sites that have been indicated as appropriate by the Northern Energy Initiative commissioned by councils in the Tees Valley.

Read full story on page 3.

The recent planning application for a wind turbine development at Greenhills Farm, Kilton Lane was turned down.

Redcar & Cleveland Councillor for Lockwood Ward Steve Kay who urged the Committee to refuse the application said:

“This application is premature, considering the meteorological mast, for which permission was granted only in October, has not yet been erected, or are we to expect even more turbines if the results from the mast make them a commercial proposition?

“The Report recommends permission be granted but most of the points made in favour of the turbine are open to challenge and are not always accurate and the site is not located in close proximity to any significant centres of population’ and refers to ‘individual residential units.’

“Kilton Thorpe, only ½ mile away is a settlement in its own right. Do the people of Kilton Thorpe, and the nearby farms count for nothing and the site is only ¾ mile from Lingdale and less than a mile from North Skelton.

“The Report describes the turbine as a ‘small scale’ development. At almost 300 feet high, it will be visible from all over East Cleveland and from the National Park.

“The Report says there will be ‘abnormal loads’ arriving over the four month construction period. Kilton Lane is narrow, winding and undulating.

“With regard to noise, the Report says emissions are within acceptable limits but noise and vibration are subjective things. The smallest continuous noise at a certain pitch can drive you mad, especially at night.

“The Report says ‘shadow flicker is not considered to be a significant issue’ because it will only affect a small number of properties. What about the rights of minorities? “Despite what the Report says, precedent is a relevant consideration. If this application is granted, how can others be resisted? East Cleveland will become the wind turbine corridor between the National Park and the sea.”

Lockwood Parish Councillor Ian Solomon spoke in opposition to the development on behalf of the Parish Council by saying: “The area concerned is unique within Redcar and Cleveland. It is an area with quiet country lanes leading to a small hamlet of houses.

“This development does not appear to benefit our community in any way. The only benefit appears to be to the landowner and if allowed it could potentially change the local environment forever together with the quality of life of residents.

“As elected members we have a duty to represent the views and wishes of our residents. In this planning application there appear to Lockwood Parish Council to be no benefit to the community whatsoever.”
This is only the start as an appeal is likely but it proves that if communities stand up for their rights, they do get results.

Another case of local residents uniting to tackle wind farms is the recent protest by Marske, New Marske and Saltburn residents coming together to prevent the erection of eight turbines in their immediate area.

Coastal View understands that two sites have been proposed, with a view to locating four turbines on each. As previously reported, a scoping exercise is being undertaken on Beacon Moor near New Marske woods, but we have learnt that a second application for a test site has now been submitted to Redcar and Cleveland Council for Blair Farm which lies between Marske and Saltburn.

It is thought that the agent acting on behalf of the Blair Farm site is working for the West Midland Metropolitan Authority Pension Fund. With the Beacon Moor application involving a private equity firm called Infinis and absentee landlord Lord Ronaldshay.

Marske Councillor Dr Tristan Learoyd has turned down a personal meeting with the agents of the Blair Farm proposal stating in an email: “Local people are united in their opposition to the proposal. I am a lifelong environmentalist, but these projects aren’t about climate change.

“They’re about a few people making fast cash from government grants – using an area where land is comparatively cheap.”

The recent delivery of a leaflet by French firm EDF in the area has also left many local residents questioning why further turbines are required. EDF stated in their leaflet that the approved 29 turbine offshore Redcar windfarm will cater for all Marske and Saltburn energy needs.

Saltburn resident Janet De Sancho who has been co-ordinating Saltburn residents told Coastal View: “I am not convinced about the benefits of wind power and sceptical as to the profits going to large companies and not the community – where are the benefits locally?

“I’m not a political animal just someone concerned about the area in which I live and regularly see lots of wildlife and deer. The noise argument is very, very strong, the constant thump day and night can travel miles so it is the whole of Saltburn and Marske that will be affected,” said Janet.

She added: “The proximity to housing is, in my opinion not acceptable at all; in fact it’s obscene and would represent a physical invasion of living space.”

St Germains Parish Councillor Paul Smith said: “Government grant deals show little discretion for where turbines are erected. The incentive for pension funds and private equity firms is to see as big return on their investment as possible. This has left the green-field sites around Cleveland, rather than the formal industrial sites, open to wind farm construction.”

Judy Saunders, Chief Investment Officer for the West Midlands Metropolitan Authorities Pension Fund told Coastal View: “The Fund exists to provide a sustainable and affordable final salary pension to its 253,000 members. The Fund has a track record of making long-term investments which benefit our members and the areas in which we invest.

“The Northern Energy Initiative, commissioned by councils in the Tees Valley, has indicated the site could be appropriate for wind turbines.

“Our plans for a small cluster of 4 turbines are at a very early stage and we are committed to undertaking comprehensive survey work and consulting widely with the local community before submitting a formal planning application.”‘

Source:  Coastal View & Moor News, www.coastalviewandmoornews.co.uk 29 February 2012

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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