Proposals for two wind farms in east Durham are likely to be rejected following strong objections from residents.
Planning officers have recommended Durham county councillors refuse permission for the applications from two separate energy companies.
EDF Energy Renewables applied to put up five wind turbines at Sheraton Hill and Hulam Farms, Sheraton, while Infinis applied to build five wind turbines on land at Wingate Grange Farm, near Wingate.
The council received 131 letters of objection to the EDF Energy Renewal’s development, while eight letters in support were submitted.
Opponents to the plans argued the region already had enough wind turbines, while the economic and environmental gains were negligible.
Planning officers have recommended the county planning committee meeting on Tuesday refuses permission on the grounds the wind farm would result in an “unduly dominant and harmful visual impact on the settlement of Hesleden”.
Furthermore, the wind turbines would be detected on the primary radar of Durham Tees Valley Airport, causing additional radar clutter with a potentially harmful impact on aviation safety, officers argue.
The application by Infinis attracted 175 letters of objection from residents, as well as a 142-signature petition, while 214 standard letters of support were submitted.
The plans are also supported by the North East Chamber of Commerce, the Employability Trust and East Durham College.
In its statement to the meeting, Infinis says it wants to maximise the socio-economic benefits of the proposal for communities around the site.
Benefits to the community over the lifetime of the project would be £1.65m. It includes a memorandum of understanding with East Durham College, with an employability fund providing £62,500 a year and a pledge to provide £63,000 to subsidise energy costs for three community centres.
Planning officers are recommending refusal on the grounds that the wind farm would result would result in “an unacceptable impact on an area of high landscape value”.
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