Villagers who won a battle to stop a wind farm being built on their doorstep are now worried about fresh plans to build a 35.7m etre turbine nearby.
Residents of Bolam have called a public meeting to discuss a planning application submitted to Darlington Borough Council for permission to build the turbine at Leggs Cross Farm at Houghton-le-Side.
Trevor Edwards, chairman of the Bolam Area Action Group, said he and other residents of Bolam have major concerns.
He said: “Our big problem is the visual impact and that if this one gets granted, how many more will get granted?
“It would be a like a skyscraper. It’s right on the ridgeline on the crest of the hill and it clearly stands out against the skyline.”
The planning application, submitted by Stewart Ward of Leggs Cross Farm, states the turbine would generate 150 per cent of the farm’s energy demands.
It will help provide electricity towards the upkeep of livestock, crop growing, heating, lighting and running machinery.
But Mr Edwards questioned the amount of power the turbine would generate.
He said: “The subsidies given to people to put wind turbines on their land is drastically too much compared to the energy produced.
“Yes, turbines make some energy but is that energy really making a difference?
“At the end of the day I’m not opposed to green energy – I realise that we have to reduce our carbon footprint.
“My question is would the people who are applying to put up these turbines still put them up if they weren’t given these subsides?
“Would the applicant put these turbines up at their own cost? I don’t think they would.”
In 2010 the residents of Bolam won a David and Goliath-style battle against RWE npower Renewables, which had applied for permission to build seven wind turbines near the village. The plan was halted over fears about its impact on radar.
The extraordinary general meeting is being held at St Andrew’s Church in Bolam on Thursday, May 24, at 7.30pm. Residents have until May 30 to comment on the application and they can do so by visiting www.darlington.gov.uk
Mr Shaw declined to comment about the concerns.
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