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Plans for new Hartlepool wind farm: Councillor warns of opposition from residents

Plans for three onshore wind turbines in Hartlepool measuring more than 300ft-tall are set to be submitted to planning chiefs before the end of the month.

Hartlepool-based green energy company Seneca Global Energy is preparing to apply to Hartlepool Borough Council for permission for the scheme.

It is proposing to develop two turbines on land west of Brenda Road south of Tata steel, and a single turbine on the Tofts Farm Industrial Estate, to the north of Tofts Road West.

But Seaton Councillor James Black said the turbines are likely to be strongly opposed if they do not address residents’ concerns around noise, potential health issues and their visual impact.

The Energy Workshop, which is assisting Seneca with making the applications, said the area where the turbines are proposed has been identified as suitable for wind energy development in the new Hartlepool Local Plan which was signed off by a government-appointed inspector last year.

A spokesman for The Energy Workshop said: “The new proposals are less than half the height of the previous 2014 applications and it is envisaged that they will supply power directly to local businesses, helping to reduce costs.

“The turbines will be made available to the wider business community as a training and educational resource as the renewable energy sector continues to grow in Hartlepool.”

A community fund will also be established.

In 2015, Hartlepool council granted permission to Seneca Global Energy for turbines up to 574ft-tall at Brenda Road West Industrial Estate, Graythorp Industrial Estate and Tofts Road West.

But in 2016 they were ruled invalid by Government agency The Planning Inspectorate which said the applicant had failed to carry out enough prior consultation.

Last year, Coun Black and members of the Seaton Carew Wind Turbine Action Group objected to the designation of the area for the wind turbines at the examination stage of the Local Plan.

Coun Black said yesterday: “We are not against green energy as such, it just needs not to interfere with people’s lives, livelihoods and people’s health.

“It will be interesting to see whether they duplicate previous applications or whether they will address and concerns and consult residents adequately.

“Just because they have changed the tipping height doesn’t mean residents are going to be happy.”

A group of environmentalists called Hartlepool 4 Renewable Energy are supporting the applications and say the turbines would generate the equivalent electricity for up to 4,309 homes.