A wind turbine will be built in a remote valley in Teesdale – despite fears that thousands of birds will be affected.
Durham Bird Club and local wildlife lovers said they were worried about the 18.5m turbine planned for East New Houses, Baldersdale.
Rachel Jackson, ecologist at Durham County Council, called for Natural England to be consulted because of possible impact on birdlife. Nature lover Ian Moorhouse, from Cotherstone, said a gull roost near the site was of national importance because of the large number if birds present.
As many as 25,000 common gulls, like the one pictured, have been recorded on the resevoir in recent years, he said. There were concerns about birds being killed or injured, or their flight path affected. However, no response was received from Natural England and the plans were approved recently.
In a report, Durham County Council said the turbine was acceptable because it would be at a low level in the valley near Hury Reservoir.
The council said: “It was recommended however that Natural England should be consulted on the proposal, given the comments of residents about gulls and waders, but no response has been received.
“This is a small-scale wind development and in the absence of objections from the [council’s] ecology section and Natural England it would be unreasonable to refuse planning permission.”
Cotherstone Parish Council have objected to the plan on landscape grounds, as have several other people living near the site.
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