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Campaigners’ joy at reports of energy giant withdrawing plan for ‘biggest’ onshore windfarm  

Credit:  Flossie Mainwaring-Taylor, Reporter (Newton Aycliffe & Sedgefield) | The Northern Echo | www.thenorthernecho.co.uk ~~

Campaigners are celebrating after reports that E.ON is withdrawing its application to build what would have been one of England’s largest onshore windfarms.

The Northern Echo understands the power giant’s fiercely opposed plan for the 24-turbine wind farm in County Durham could be withdrawn by the end of the week.

The proposed scheme, known as The Isles wind farm, was scaled back from 45 turbines in 2012 and would have seen the renewable energy site spread across two areas close to the A1 motorway, near Newton Aycliffe and Sedgefield.

Sue Fox, of Bradbury, near Sedgefield, is a member of The Isles Community Turbine Action Campaign (Tictac) which has been fighting the proposal for about six years.

Reacting to reports, she said: “We’ve had a really mixed bag of emotions – there is a lot of happiness and joy, but also an element of frustration that it’s taken so long when right at the beginning we said it was not a suitable area.

“The overriding emotion is pride because they underestimated the community. We learned everything we needed to and if we hadn’t done, they would have built it two years ago. We had the community behind us.”

The Isles was expected to have been able to generate enough energy for around 27,000 homes per year.

Seven of the proposed turbines would have had a maximum tip height of 126.5 metres.

But campaigners, with the backing of Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson, argued the wind farm would have a detrimental effect on the area.

Ms Fox said a number of issues raised against the plan included the potential of flooding, the location being designated as a unique landscape and concerns from the Ministry of Defence that the turbines would interfere with its radar systems.

Mr Wilson said: “If this is accurate I think it’s excellent news. County Durham has a proud record for renewable energy.

“We’ve done our bit in allowing wind farm developments in the county and I thought this particular wind farm was just a step too far.

“I’m not against wind farm developments but the planning issue here is the cumulative impact of too many wind farms in one area.

“It was probably going to be one of the biggest onshore wind farms in England.”

Campaigners believe the Government’s cuts to energy subsidies is one of the major factors behind the move.

However, a spokeswoman from E.ON said they would not comment on speculation.

Source:  Flossie Mainwaring-Taylor, Reporter (Newton Aycliffe & Sedgefield) | The Northern Echo | www.thenorthernecho.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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