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Quarry firm ‘sticking two fingers up at residents’

A proposed wind turbine is ‘sticking two fingers up’ at the generosity of Uttoxeter residents, the town’s MP has said.

Aggregates Industries and PowerWind Projects are preparing a planning application, expected to be submitted in spring, for a 87m (285ft) high wind turbine, which is almost as high as London’s Big Ben’s clock tower, at Uttoxeter Quarry, in Spath.

The company had previously promised this land would be restored after the quarrying had been completed with places suitable for agriculture, water areas, a nature reserve and a place for recreation.

MP Andrew Griffiths has hit out at the proposal as promises had been made to residents.

He said: “I am shocked and disappointed that Aggregates should come forward with such an unwelcome and controversial proposal.

“This company has expected local residents in Uttoxeter to put up with the disturbance of quarrying, such as noise, dust and traffic that comes with it for many years in the understanding that they would return the land as a community facility that was restored to its former beauty.

“The fact they now want to erect an industrial scale wind turbine that will blight the landscape for years to come sticks two fingers up to the good will and the generosity of the community.

“I am genuinely shocked that Aggregates should make such a decision having expected so much of local residents for so long.” It is believed the land proposed for the turbine was promised to Uttoxeter Cricket Club but the club has declined to comment at this time.

Aggregates Industries said the turbine could generate enough clean energy for the equivalent of up to 279 homes and could save around 565 tonnes of carbon monoxide annually.

A spokesman said: “As a company we are aware that producing and transporting construction materials requires high energy and is therefore a carbon intensive process.

“We want to lead the way in being environmentally responsible and are committed to reducing our carbon emissions.

“One of the key ways we will achieve this is through generating 25 per cent of the energy we need from renewable energy projects on our own land.

He added the proposal is at an early stage and they are accessing the viability of the site.

Resident Leslie Tench has also slammed the plans claiming they would destroy the landscape and tower over St Mary’s in Uttoxeter and St Michael’s in Stramshall.

The Stramshall resident said: “The 285ft quoted is merely, as we understand it, the tower height.

“To this must be added the enormous height of the turbine blades. So far from nearly being as high as Big Ben this turbine would dwarf Big Ben.

“It would totally destroy the local landscape.

“We wonder how many realise such turbines are only possible by massive subsidies paid for by direct levies on electricity bills.

“These can amount to 50 per cent of the revenues of such projects. No wonder companies see turbines as a golden goose – it’s laying golden eggs at our direct expense at a time when vast numbers of people are struggling to pay their electricity bills.

“Turbines, though woefully ineffective at producing electricity, are extremely profitable.

Aggregate Industries would have you believe that they are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts. Don’t believe it their motive is wholly profit orientated.

“No wonder our local MP is pressurising the Government to cut these iniquitous subsidies.”