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Villagers pledge to stop giant turbines  

Credit:  The Sentinel, www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk 30 May 2012 ~~

Householders have launched a campaign to stop two 45-metre wind turbines being built on a hill near their homes.

They fear the turbines – which stand 36 metres tall, with nine metre blades – will dominate the landscape.

Families say the turbines will ruin views across rolling countryside, from their homes on Newcastle Road, Slindon, near Eccleshall.

And they have also raised concerns about the impact on wildlife.

Four villages surrounding the site – Slindon, Brockton, Sugnall and Standon – have joined forces to fight the proposal.

Helen Bonsall fears the plans could put people off staying at her award-winning bed and breakfast Slindon House Farm.

The 55-year-old, who has run the B&B for 18 years, said: “These wind turbines could have an adverse impact on my business – they will dominate the skyline. I’ve asked a lot of people if they would stay at a B&B next to wind turbines and they’ve all said no.

“I’m also worried about the noise and the impact on wildlife because I’ve heard the shadow flicker from the turbines can be harmful to birds.

“I have just recently found out about the plans and already I feel like I’m playing catch-up to find out information.”

Aspley Enterprises Ltd, the company behind the wind turbine development, is yet to submit a formal planning application to Stafford Borough Council

And Slindon resident Mike Smith is hoping to get villagers’ voices heard before it is too late. He said: “Staffordshire is a beautiful, gently-undulating county. If every hillock is permitted to have a wind turbine, it will be ruined.

“This proposal will affect important tourism businesses at a time when we should be protecting the rural economy.

“We are not against the concept of renewable energy, but there is plenty of space for Aspley Farm to erect the turbines on its farmland.”

Residents first heard of the proposals last week when Alan and Anna Warrington, the directors of Aspley Enterprise, offered the village community fund a donation of £500 per turbine, per year for the next two decades.

The couple have now defended the plans. Mr Warrington, a free range egg producer, said: “We feel every business has a responsibility to reduce carbon footprint and try to be sustainable. This is our way of achieving that objective.

“All the issues and concerns will be address and explained and there is no need for people to be concerned about the depth of footings or shadow flicker.”

The Warringtons and wind turbine specialist Bowler Energy have organised a presentation about the wind turbines tonight at Eccleshall Community Centre, between 6.30pm and 8.30pm. Bowler Energy declined to comment.

Source:  The Sentinel, www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk 30 May 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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