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Stone turbine plans fury

Plans for two turbines on the edge of Stone have put the wind up residents and the town’s MP.

Two 45m high turbines are being proposed for land near Stone Park Farm, Pingle Lane, which is currently used for growing arable crops. The site is around a kilometre (800 yds) east of Stone.

In a report to Stafford Borough Council James Mountain, of agents Hallmark Power Ltd, said the farm wanted to become more environmentally sustainable by sourcing its energy via renewable sources.

“The farming business is continually trying to be competitive within the market by growing quality produce whilst being environmentally friendly,” he added. “This is particularly prevalent as consumers are becoming increasingly more aware of sustainable farming methods and the carbon footprint of the produce they buy.

“The proposed wind turbines would be connected directly to the National Grid and provide an additional income source via the Feed-In-Tarriff. They would generate a sustainable income stream which would increase the farm’s economic sustainability.”

But the plans have received more than a dozen objections so far, including opposition from residents of the nearby Aston Lodge estate.

Concerns include noise from the turbines and their visual impact on the rural landscape.

Stone Town Council’s planning committee members “strongly object” to the proposal and borough councillors Joyce Farnham and Philip Jones have both called it in for discussion by the borough’s planning committee.

Stone MP Bill Cash said he would “fight the proposals all the way”.

He added: “The proposals are contrary to the interests of my constituents. Wind turbines are inefficient, uneconomic and based on massive subsidies and which – far from being environmentally friendly or a sustainable source of energy – spoil the landscape, damage the local community, and drive down house prices which is already happening on a serious scale.

“They are backed by subsidies and will have the affect of destroying the environment in the whole of Stone itself.”

But one Stone resident, Paul Bannister, has written to the borough council in support of the turbines. He said: “Stone needs progress – not just more charity shops.”

Residents have until Wednesday (October 2) to have their say on the application.