New guidelines are being considered for dealing with planning applications for wind turbines in a Teesside borough.
The issue was raised at a meeting of Redcar and Cleveland Council by Conservative Group leader Councillor Valerie Halton and East Cleveland Independent Steve Kay.
The debate comes as plans are put forward to erect six 410ft turbines close to Guisborough as part of a £15.6m scheme.
Cllr Halton said it might be the borough needed a certain number of wind turbines to avert the worst impacts of climate change. She said there was a need to map the capacity of the borough’s countryside to include different types of renewable energy.
Cllr Halton said there should be an all-party working group to consider the issue and propose guidelines for the future. “I am not against wind turbines but they have to be of the right size for the area,” she said.
Cllr Kay referred to a recent application for a wind turbine at Stanghow which had been opposed by the North York Moors National Park committee but had been recommended for approval by council planning officers.
“The borough of Redcar and Cleveland is serviced by two planning regimes – our own and that of the national park. We want the very best from both of them. So why don’t they get their act together?” he asked. He said the borough had goals of attracting more tourists and of encouraging the building of executive homes in the countryside.
“How can you achieve these goals when your policies are doing nothing to stop the march of monstrous wind turbines?” asked Cllr Kay.
Councillor Helen McLuckie, Cabinet member for planning, said the views of the National Park were taken into account.
She said there was no need to set up a working party. The council already had STEWPS (Site Visits, Training, Environment Working Parties) which allowed people to have an input. “The council has policies in place that cover renewable energy and a protocol in renewable energy is being prepared and will go before Cabinet in November,” she said. “It will also go to STEWPS and all councillors have the opportunity to attend and comment.”
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