- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Protestors take hope from turbine refusal

A wind power plan for Teesdale has been turned down – giving hope to protestors that a much larger proposal nearby will suffer the same fate.
The scheme for East Fold Garth Farm, near the village of Woodland, has been rejected by Durham County Council.
Council planners said the single turbine, measuring 34 metres, would damage one of the most extensive views in County Durham.
Officers also said the wind turbine would also have an impact on the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) two kilometres away.
This argument has been used by people campaigning against a separate plan to build a £12.5million wind farm, also near Woodland, submitted by Banks Developments.
And the latest decision is likely to provide protestors with more ammunition against this larger scheme. Campaigner Alistair Rutter welcomed the latest refusal. He said: “The domestic turbine was too close to people’s homes. It would have spoilt the beautiful views of Copley and the Gaunless Valley that Woodland has to offer.
“We hope to hear the end of it – but if not then we will have no objection in fighting this proposal.”
Timothy Tarn had made the application for the single turbine. It would have helped provide electricity for his home.
But there were 27 objections, along with one letter of support. Concerns included the impact of the landscape and the turbine paving the way for further applications.
Woodland Parish Council objected and Eggleston Parish Council expressed worries that if approved there would be a “knock on effect for the conservation village of Eggleston and Teesdale in general in so far as a precedent will have been set for similar schemes”.
Offices at Durham County Council said that the county had already met its renewable energy targets, meaning there is “no need to approve sites found to be environmentally unacceptable”.
The county has more that 165MW of renewable electricity operational or approved. Once complete, this will meet about 55 per cent of the county’s household electricity consumption.
A council report said: “The view from the B6282 covers almost 180 degrees, and extends beyond County Durham on a clear day. It is one of the most extensive views in County Durham.
“The proposed turbine would be central in this view and would be significantly damaging to it.”
The authority added that the turbine would have a “significant visual impact” on views from people’s homes and the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The report said: “The turbine would be visible from parts of the AONB and due to the proposed colour, white, it would be relatively prominent, particularly in those views where the turbine is seen wholly or in part against rising land.”
However, Banks Developments said its scheme would not be rejected.
Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at the Banks Group, said: “Banks is committed to reducing our reliance on fossil fuels by bringing forward sustainable low-carbon, renewable energy projects like that proposed at Windy Bank.
“It is within an area independently identified as being suitable for wind development and we feel the proposals are environmentally acceptable in the proposed location
“The scheme would meet the annual energy requirements of around 7,200 homes and would also deliver a range of economic, social and environmental benefits to the local community including the availability of tenders for local firms.
“We’re confident that these many positives will be recognised by Durham County Council’s planning committee in considering the application.”