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We’ve had enough

Villagers in East Cleveland have called for Redcar and Cleveland Council to oppose all “industrial” wind turbines in their area.

Recently applications to build large wind turbines at Stanghow, near Lingdale and at Kilton Thorpe, near Brotton have been rejected by the council’s planning committee.

At a meeting of the Lockwood Ward Neighbourhood Action Partnership there was unanimous support for a motion, from the chairman Councillor Steve Kay, calling for a change in Redcar and Cleveland Council’s wind turbine policy.

He called on the council to oppose all industrial wind turbine development in the Lockwood Ward area because they were “a blight on our outstanding landscape”.

However leading Redcar and Cleveland councillor Helen McLuckie says the council cannot have its own wind turbine policy.

It had to follow national planning guidelines.

Councillor Kay said: “The council’s planning committee has done a good job by refusing planning permission for large turbines but, at the moment, the council’s policy has no teeth.

“It needs beefing up to stop this threat to our countryside once and for all. We are sick and tired of planning officials telling us there is nothing beautiful or outstanding about our area and that therefore we should put up with these horrendous structures.

“Our council should back its residents through its policies. The Lockwood villages are adjacent to the North York Moors National Park. Our landscape should be protected from these monstrosities.”

Parish councillor, Mike Jefferson, who seconded Cllr Kay’s motion, pointed to the Lockwood villages’ success in Northumbria in Bloom and Britain in Bloom.

“Why should all this local effort be spoiled by these horrendous machines?” he said.

Cllr McLuckie, the council’s cabinet member for highways, transportation and planning, said: “The council is not in a position to devise its own local wind turbine policy.

“There are already clear national guidelines in place on locations of turbines, which we as a local authority have no power to overrule.

“Each planning application is judged on its own merits. We could not create a system which involved pre-judging an application before it had even reached the planning committee.”

Cllr McLuckie said, however, that council officers were developing a protocol, for November’s cabinet meeting, on how the authority would deal with renewable energy planning applications.

“This will give clarity to residents and developers alike on the process followed in considering such applications,” she said.

PROTEST: Residents outside Eston civic centre campaign against a proposed wind turbine near Lingdale