The fight against a massive windfarm on hills overlooking Guisborough is well and truly on.
Worried residents and councillors last night packed Sunnyfield House meeting room to back the founding of a FIGHT (Fight In Guisborough to Halt Turbines) action group.
A special committee is now being formed to marshal support throughout the area, opposing the £15.6m scheme for a proposed cluster of 410ft high wind turbines at Park Woods, on the Gisborough Estate.
Residents from the Mount Pleasant community, just a few hundred metres away from the proposed site, volunteered to join the steering committee.
And campaigners from Seamer near Stokesley, who already have similar large-scale wind turbines near their homes, attended to give their advice and support.
Representatives and residents from New Marske and Lingdale who’ve opposed other wind turbine schemes in the area, also suggested the various campaigners should now band together to make a concerted fight against schemes which residents fear “could swamp the area”.
Durham-based Banks Renewables wants to build a six-turbine windfarm close to the historic market town and its priory, in view of many homes, including those on the main Hunters Hill estate.
But North Yorkshire Brewery boss George Tinsley, 61, of Pinchinthorpe Hall, called the meeting to set up the action group.
He told the gathering: “I want to find out if people want to form a group to fight against these proposals – a non-political group.”
Guisborough town mayor Malcolm Griffiths attended to listen to people’s views, as did Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP Tom Blenkinsop.
Cllr Griffiths said beforehand: “Wind farms should be out at sea, or on brownfield sites in the Tees Valley.”
Local councillor Bill Suthers said Guisborough’s trump card is its proximity to the North York Moors National Park.
He said: “This the fourth wind turbine application we’ve had in this general area. If this gets through, we could be surrounded by these things.
“This is about merchant banks in cahoots with the land owner taking money out of the area. These turbines will be twice the size of the Transporter bridge.”
Mr Tinsley said: “We’re not against windfarms – they should be out at sea, not on a hill overlooking Guisborough. It’s the wrong place. “
Trees on top of the hills could be removed as a cash crop, making the massive turbines stand out even more, he warned.
Anita Johnson, of Mount Pleasant, said developers have told residents one of the turbines could be on old tip waste land near Dunsdale which would “stand out like a Belisha beacon”.
Another Guisborough resident who asked not to be named said the town has never been identified as a suitable wind turbine site in previous surveys.
Other residents feared migrating birds and bats could be decimated by the huge turbine blades.
Cllr Steve Kay said: “GHF Energy has resubmitted an application to erect a wind turbine almost 300 feet high, at Greenhills Farm, half a mile from the hamlet of Kilton Thorpe, between Lingdale and Brotton.
“This, despite the fact their plan was refused earlier this year by Redcar and Cleveland Council’s planning committee and a subsequent appeal dismissed by the Secretary of State.
“If we’re to stop the march of the wind turbines through Guisborough and East Cleveland, we must support each other.”
He implored everyone to attend the planning committee at 10.15am on Thursday, September 27, to demonstrate opposition to the Greenhills Farm application at the Civic and Learning Centre, in South Bank.
He said: “By force of numbers, we can show the developers and planners we’ll not tolerate wind turbines blighting our landscape and our homes.” The meeting showed strong support for this.
Banks Group director Mark Dowdall has said the Guisborough location is “wholly appropriate” and the Bankfield wind farm will bring jobs, economic, social and environmental benefits to the area.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding