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Blurton families fight plans for 209ft wind turbine on former Hem Heath colliery site  

Credit:  By Richard Ault | The Sentinel | March 04, 2013 | www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk ~~

Protesters are urging residents to sign a petition against plans to build a 209-foot high wind turbine near a housing estate.

Blurton families have been told that proposals will be put before Stoke-on-Trent City Council for a mast on the former Hem Heath colliery site off Tilery Lane.

The neighbours received a leaflet with details of the plans from agents working for the developers.

A formal planning application has yet to be submitted to the authority, but families have already launched a petition, so far signed by about 100 people, against the wind turbine.

Residents argue that the 64-metre structure would be too close to neighbouring houses, and would be seen as far away as Trentham.

Mother-of-three Deborah Ward, of Tilery Lane, said: “We don’t want it. I think it is disgusting.

“I’m not saying it will fall over, but if it did, it would land in my garden, it is so close. We keep and fly pigeons and we don’t know how it’s going to affect them.

“If they want a wind turbine it should be out in the countryside, not right next to a housing estate.”

Julie Connon-Griffiths, aged 48, of Consett Road, Blurton, said: “This could be the first of many. If this goes ahead, what is to stop developers putting them up next to Hanley Park, Longton Park, or even Trentham Lakes.

“There is the noise pollution, the unbearable hum of the large swishing blades and there could be interruption of television due to interference to TV aerials. They are also an eyesore and will inevitably cause the devaluation of our properties.”

Julie’s father, John Connon, is a retired miner and former NUM union leader who worked at Hem Heath.

The 74-year-old, who lives on Brocton Walk, Blurton, overlooking the old colliery site, said: “The size of this wind turbine is ridiculous and the position of it is wrong, it is too close to houses.”

Applications close to housing estates are rare, although plans to install 14 wind turbines next to Goodwin International’s Ivy House Road base in Hanley were scrapped last year after the company listened to residents’ concerns.

The Blurton proposals are for a 137ft (42m) high mast, with blades stretching up another 72ft (22m), generating 500kW of energy.

The site, which borders Sir Stanley Matthews Way and Longton Rugby Club, was sold at a public auction last May by St Modwen, and bought by Devon-based developer Woodvale.

A design statement, produced by Staffordshire-based agent GJ Campbell on behalf of Woodvale, says: “The immediate location for the turbine is open ground at the edge of public open space, largely used as amenity space, playing fields and walking area on the edge of the Blurton estate. The site overlooks Longton in the distance and is perfect for wind generation due to its exposed valley position.

“The electricity will feed into the local grid network via an underground cable link to the nearest sub station.”

Protesters have previously fought plans to build wind turbines at various sites in the Staffordshire Moorlands countryside.

In April, councillors threw out an application for a 59ft (18m) wind farm on land at Calton Moor

In October, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet signed a policy on turbines, which included no structures within 2km of residential developments to protect homeowners from noise disturbance and spoiled views.

Source:  By Richard Ault | The Sentinel | March 04, 2013 | www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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