A furious Teesside MP has blasted a peer who is backing plans for a wind farm on his land, saying he is treating residents like “medieval serfs”.
Developers say the £15.6m wind turbine scheme on Lord Gisborough’s land off Wilton Lane, north of the A171 near Guisborough will be in a cluster, sited behind hills and be partially obscured from the town.
But Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop has hit back, saying: “It seems fundamentally wrong that a local aristocrat, whose estate was inherited from his feudal ancestors, is allowing the possible construction of this massive windfarm, whilst it is people in Mount Pleasant and North Guisborough who may ultimately be forced to live in its shadow.
“Whilst his ancestors may have been lords of the manor, I feel that in the 21st Century, local residents ought to be treated with more respect than medieval serfs.”
Lord Gisborough, representing the Gisborough Estate, and James Roy, project manager for developers Banks Renewables, said Bankfield windfarm could bring considerable benefits.
Mr Roy said all six turbines will be 410ft high (about 125 metres), but will be sited behind wooded hills at Park Woods, which cover about 250 acres.
The Eston area will be shielded from view by the existing escarpment, he said.
The turbines will be partially shielded from view from thousands of households in Guisborough on the opposite side of the valley, he said.
Properties within a 1km circle of the site, including 24 homes at nearby Mount Pleasant, will be closely monitored by special equipment within official Government levels and any noise levels should not exceed 35-40 decibels.
He said: “We realise some people will have negative views, but we’re open to residents’ views and any others at any stage. This will include the design and how local communities will benefit.
“Anyone living more than 1km away shouldn’t hear anything at all.”
Initial consultation by the developers is set for Tuesday, August 28, 3pm-7pm, at Guisborough Methodist Church.
Mr Roy said Durham-based Banks Renewables has similar six-turbine sites already operating successfully at Tow Law, Rotherham and Hazelhead, West Yorkshire.
Lord Gisborough said he was “neutral” on the plan and will not personally benefit, though the Gisborough Estate will.
He said he understood the Government’s plans for 10% of the nation’s energy needs to be met via wind-sourced energy and that wind power is the cheapest, non-polluting form of renewable energy.
“It seems a good way forward,” he said.
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