Plans for a 100m wind turbine near Brotton were unanimously rejected by Redcar and Cleveland councillors today.
As reported, energy firm TNEI wants to put the turbine – which would be up to 100m high to its blade tip – on land east of Kilton Thorpe Lane.
But with around 25 East Cleveland villagers looking on, the council’s regulatory committee, meeting at the Redcar and Cleveland Leisure Heart in Redcar, voted unanimously to reject planning permission – going against an officers’ recommendation to approve.
A council officers’ report to the meeting said the potential impact on the environment and local community was “not considered to be of such a scale to outweight the benefits of the development.”
But councillors heard Lockwood Parish Council, Skelton and Brotton Parish Council and the North York Moors National Park Authority all objected to the turbine, which would be 14m taller than an existing turbine at nearby Greenhills Farm.
Terry Cox, from the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said the Kilton Thorpe structure would be four times the height of the Redcar Beacon and an “oppressive and overbearing presence.” He added: “Enough is enough – I implore councillors to heed our innate sense of right and wrong and reject this application.” Councillors also heard from a Kilton Thorpe villager who said that if allowed, the turbine would be a “stark silhouette on the landscape – visually intrusive for a generation.”
Councillor Mick Jefferson, from Lockwood Parish Council, said such a large turbine would be a “blight on our fantastic landscape.”
And while several committee members said they supported the general principle of wind turbines, they were concerned at the visual impact the Kilton Thorpe Lane structure would have.
Councillor Peter Spencer, whose amendment to refuse permission was seconded by Councillor Valerie Halton, said: “I am not against wind turbines per se but this is the fourth application in a small area.
“I can’t compare this one with Greenhills since this one is 45ft taller and would be bound to have a bigger effect on the surrounding area. We’ve already had four. If this is passed, anyone want to take a bet there won’t be more applications on this site?”
Councillor Brenda Forster said that having been up close to turbines, she hadn’t experienced them causing noise problems. But she added: “I don’t think this one should be where it’s going to be – there are too many going up in that little area.
“We don’t want it to get like France where they have taken over – they are like triffids coming over the hills.”
Councillor Mary Lanigan feared the borough could become a wind turbine “dumping ground,” adding: “There is a place for these things and this is not it.” And while Councillor Helen McLuckie said she was generally “pro-turbine”, she admitted: “I am getting concerned about piecemeal turbines coming in here and there – to me, they don’t add value to the community.”
Councillor Eric Jackson said: “You’ve got to draw a line somewhere and I think the line has arrived.”
And committee chairman, Councillor Brian Hogg, said that while he had “no problems with groups of turbines,” he did have a problem “where they are scattered haphazardly.”
Permission was unanimously rejected on grounds of the scheme’s potential visual and cumulative impact, and its impact on the area’s cultural and industrial heritage.
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