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Massive turbine ‘poses threat to last wilderness’ of North Pennines

The director of an organisation responsible for caring for England’s last wilderness says a plan to build a massive wind turbine would have a devastating impact.
Peter and Phillip Hobson have applied for permission to erect the 46-metre wind turbine at Windy Hill Farm, Eggleston.
If approved, it would be more than twice the height of the Angel of the North and would be a short distance from the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Chris Woodley-Stewart, the director of the North Pennines AONB Partnership, said the scheme must be rejected by Durham County Council.
He said: “We have significant concerns about its impact on the AONB landscape and we conclude that it cannot be supported under current local or national policy. In this location and at this scale it is felt to be likely to have, in some views, a significant and adverse effect on the purposes of AONB designation.
“This proposal is vastly out of scale with its surroundings and that the form – a bright white turbine – would be highly visually intrusive.”
He said the AONB Partnership was supportive of “appropriate scale renewable energy development” but could not back this one.
Mr Woodley-Stewart said the applicants were wrong to suggest it was a “small-scale” development.
He added: “In a landscape dominated by other turbines or by other large scale vertical features or against a highly visually complex backdrop, this may be the case – in its proposed location the description of this turbine as ‘small-scale’ does not bear even the most limited scrutiny.”
Durham County Council has called for more information about the proposal from the applicant before it can be considered. A number of other groups, such as Eggleston Parish Council, have also objected to the planning application.
The parish council said: “If the development goes ahead, the view of the AONB will be compromised.
“This is because the height of the turbine (more than twice the height of The Angel of the North) will always be in the sight-line to the AONB when viewed from the south and east from Barnard Castle.”
Resident Ken Smith told the council: “This is a massive structure ‐even bigger than the turbines installed at GSK Barnard Castle.”
The applicants say the turbine would produce about 168,000kW a year, which will allow them to dramatically reduce their carbon footprint.
The planning application said the production of green energy would make the farm “more attractive to future customers and therefore support its future growth.