The town’s MP has written to the firm behind controversial plans for a giant wind turbine at Uttoxeter quarry to clarify how the proposals will affect a planned joint cricket and football development on the site.
Uttoxeter MP Andrew Griffiths has written to Aggregate Industries to express his ‘disappointment and concern’ at the proposed 285ft tall wind turbine for the quarry at Spath, a structure which would be almost as high as London’s Big Ben clock tower.
Mr Griffiths told the Advertiser that a joint bid for a football and cricket development on the site after extraction finishes on the site is well in progress to house Uttoxeter Cricket Club and junior football.
His letter to Aggregate says: “There has been a partnership between Aggregate Industries and the local community in Uttoxeter regarding the extraction of aggregates from the quarry site for many years.
“There has always been an understanding that the community would accept this process and the negative aspects of it, including the heavy goods vehicles, on the basis that in the future the site would be returned and used for the betterment of the natural environment and the good of the community.
“To hear that you intend to ride roughshod over that and to instead install an ugly industrial turbine on the site against the wishes of the community is deeply disappointing.
“I would be grateful if you would be able to clarify exactly where you are intending to place the wind turbine, as it looks as though it is expected to be in the exact location of the cricket pitch that has been promised to Uttoxeter Cricket Club.” Aggregate has now submitted a ‘screening opinion’ paper to Staffordshire County Council, usually seen as a precursor to a full planning application where the firm asks the authority whether an environmental assessment is required.
Meanwhile town councillors have strongly opposed the proposals saying the town would get ‘absolutely no benefit at all’ from the plans.
Councillors issued their objections at their full council meeting at Uttoxeter Town Hall.
Town councillor Hugh Montgomery, spoke first at the meeting and said the council should strongly oppose the proposals.
He said: “Our MP has already come out against this.
Uttoxeter gets absolutely no benefit from this at all.
“The energy produced will be fed back into the Aggregates company and anything left will go back into the National Grid.
“Why should we put up with a very large mast sticking up into the air like that which will cause considerable disruption to people living in the area.
“I would like to move a resolution that we oppose this.” Town mayor Allan Chapman was the only councillor to say he was not opposed to the turbine at the meeting, although he told the Advertiser after the meeting he had not been made aware of the football and cricket club plans.
Councillor Montgomery’s resolution to oppose the plans was passed.