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Revised wind farm plans go on show

Revised plans for a controversial wind farm in County Durham were unveiled to the public yesterday in the first of a series of consultation events.

Energy firm E.On reduced the number of turbines proposed for the Isles wind farm, near Newton Aycliffe, from 45 to 24 following an initial consultation exercise last year.

Yesterday’s information event at Chilton and Windlestone Working Mens’ Club was a chance for Chilton residents to discover more about the project, which now seeks to build two clusters of seven and 17 turbines on land close to the villages of Bradbury, Mordon and Preston- le-Skerne.

E.On also revealed the preferred locations for two interconnected substations, which would be built close to each cluster to collect electricity to pass onto the grid.

Paul Hunt, project manager at E.On, said the team had taken into account feedback received last year, which had shown a preference for smaller clusters of turbines.

However, resident Elizabeth Bruce, who has lived in Chilton for 44 years, said most people in the village did not want a wind farm on the site at all, adding: “We had a public meeting last year and over 100 people attended. I would say 99.9 per cent of them were against it.

“Our preferred option would be no wind turbines at all. County Durham has its fair share of wind farms.”

Mr Hunt said it was important that residents expressed their views.

“I think we have improved the scheme considerably from our initial designs as we listened to what people told us last year,” he said.

“We have a difficult job to balance what local people want and national requirements for renewable energy.

We have done our best but we know we are not going to please everyone.”

The consultation for the wind farm, which could generate enough energy to power 35,000 homes, runs until September 9.

Further consultation events will take place at Newton Aycliffe Leisure Centre, tomorrow, from 1pm to 8pm; Sedgefield Parish Hall, on Friday, from 10am to 2pm; Mordon Village Hall, on Friday, from 4pm to 8pm; and Chilton and Windlestone Workingmen’s Club, on Saturday, from 9am to 2pm.

Comments can be submitted by calling 0800-096-1199, emailing theisles@eonuk.

com or visiting eon-uk.

com/the isles Anti-wind farm protest group, The Isles Communities Turbine Action Campaign, is also staging exhibitions on Friday at the Animated Closet shop, in Sedgefield, from 10am to 2pm, and on Mordon Green, from 4pm to 8pm.