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Villagers near Stone get set for new turbine battle

The battle against a wind turbine firm has resumed in rural Stone just months after controversial plans for the edge of the town were thrown out by councillors.

East Midlands-based Hallmark Power is applying for permission to install a 77m tall turbine on land at Woodhouse Farm, Cotwalton.

The firm’s bid to install two 45m tall turbines on land near Stone’s Pingle Lane sparked fury from residents of the nearby Aston Lodge estate and the application was refused by Stafford Borough Council in October 2013.

An appeal against the decision was launched by Hallmark Power last week.

Its latest plans for the Cotwalton area have also met with opposition from nearby residents, who say it will tower over the Moddershall Valley and spoil a landscape that has remained unchanged for 250 years.

Gill Stanford, one of the objectors, said: “There is great strength of feeling in the local community and we are forming an action group. This turbine would be taller than the Angel of the North and Nelson’s Column.”

Gerald Gittens, who lives in nearby Oulton, said: “This development would be totally inappropriate intrusion into the rural environment. The turbine will be visible from Oulton, Cotwalton, Moddershall and Stone.”

But alongside the objections Stafford Borough Council has received emails supporting the prospect of renewable energy.

Hallmark Power has called a public meeting to discuss the proposal on Monday at 6pm at Moddershall Village Hall.

A planning statement from Hallmark Power’s Stephen Bate said: “There are very few local residents who will be directly affected by the proposal.

“The benefits of renewable energy production would outweigh any adverse environmental impacts and there are no unacceptable problems in terms of relationships with neighbouring uses.

” Any harm to the immediate or wider landscape would be generally limited in nature and extent.”