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Turbines plan for Sedgefield faces fierce opposition

Residents fighting plans to build three wind turbines claim that, if approved, they will be surrounded by eyesore wind farms.

Energy firm Wind Prospect wants to build the 110 metre high two-megawatt turbines at Foxton, near Sedgefield.

Locals claim that if they are built it will mean the village will become an island surrounded by wind farms.

Residents have fought a long campaign against the application, submitted to Durham County Council last year.

The council failed to reach a decision within the 16-week time limit so the scheme will now have to be decided by the Planning Inspectorate.

A hearing into the scheme is being held by Planning Inspector Paul Jackson this week.

Applicant Wind Prospect has said the three turbines will supply an estimated 3,019 homes in the region annually and that it has been sympathetically designed.

John Robinson, a Labour county councillor for Sedgefield, told the hearing: “These turbines will be three times the size of the Angel of the North.

“I chaired two public meetings for residents and 136 people came to one and 128 went to the other and no one voted to support them.

“There will be nearly 105 turbines surrounding Sedgefield if this scheme and E.ON’s plan for 45 turbines, near Newton Aycliffe, are approved.”

Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson has written to the hearing to express his strong objections.

He said that he feels the area has reached capacity regarding turbines and that more will have a detrimental visual impact.

Several wind turbine plans have been approved for land near Sedgefield, such as one by Banks Renewables for four 125m-high turbines at Lambs Hill, Stillington.

Sedgefield Mayor Alan Blakemore said: “This is totally against anything that we would like to have around here.

“It’s not that we don’t want them. It’s that we think we have enough of them already.”

Resident Ron Suddes said: “I’m against this. We have got our full quota of turbines here and we don’t want any more.

“Wherever anyone comes from heading towards Sedgefield they will see them and this is such a lovely place.”

Residents’ group Sedgefield Forum has also voiced concerns over the scheme.