Protesters opposing wind turbine plans have handed in more than 1,600 letters to council planners – saying a Government stance strengthens their case.
The proposed turbines will stand within a few hundred yards of the A174 roundabout between Kirkleatham village and the Wilton International Site. At over 460ft high, they will be larger than the turbines in the Coatham Bay wind farm and will stand 1.5 times the height of the Cleveland Hills behind them.
In June 2015, Greg Clarke, Minister for Communities, said in Parliament: “A local planning authority can find the proposal acceptable, if following consultation they are satisfied it has addressed the planning impacts identified by the local communities and, therefore, has its backing.”
And that, say the campaigners, helps fuel their opposition.
Retired businessman Phil Chapman said: “This statement has galvanised people right across the area into expressing their views on the proposal.”
The letters have come no only from the three villages directly affected, but from as far afield as Hartlepool, Billingham, Marske and Saltburn.
Mr Chapman addded: “All these people are concerned at the damaging effect such huge turbines will have on the rural setting south of the A174 and on the many historical Listed Buildings in the immediate vicinity of the turbine site.”
The letters were handed to planning officials at Redcar & Cleveland House in Redcar.
Renewable energy firm Airvolution proposes to build two 140m turbines within half a mile of Wilton, Yearby and Kirkleatham.
The firm has called it “an important project that can help generate much needed renewable energy” with enough electricity generated to power 4,500 homes every year.
Airvolution also says it will bring investment and jobs to the area and a community benefit fund worth £33,000 for every year of the project’s lifetime.
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