Decision day looms on colossal Staffordshire wind farm plans
Monday, March 28 2011
Campaigners fighting plans to erect six colossal wind masts, which will blight views from Weston Park, are urging South Staffordshire Council to end years of anguish and throw out the proposals.
South Staffordshire Council is set to meet on April 5 to at long last make a ruling on controversial plans to install six 126-metre wind turbines in the rural village of Brineton.
In February, the STAG campaign received a massive boost when South Staffordshire Council rejected proposals to install a temporary 70-metre wind monitoring mast near Church Eaton.
Now, members of STAG and UKIP MEP Mike Nattrass, who has been a long supporter of the campaign and vocal opponent of onshore wind farms, are hopeful the local authority will at long last rule against the wind farm application.
In November 2009, Mr Nattrass met with members of STAG at the European Parliament in Strasbourg and since then the MEP has worked with campaigners to fight the King Street wind farm scheme.
South Staffordshire Council’s decision to reject plans to erect a temporary monitoring mast on land at New House Farm took STAG’s campaign into a critical phase but now, following years of anguish and uncertainty, decision day on the wind farm draws near.
MEP Mike Nattrass said: “At long last it is decision time and I call on South Staffordshire Council to do the right thing and refuse this application.
“The case against this wind farm is strong. From an environmental perspective English Heritage states its belief that the masts would be detrimental to the views from the historic Weston Park.
“Also, if you take away the subsidies wind farms would not be economically viable. They are a woefully inefficient way of harnessing energy as they do not operate when it is too windy or when it is not windy enough.
“I have long campaigned against onshore wind farms and will long continue to do so. Wind farms are just money spinners for foreign firms.
“Money should be invested instead in clean coal but the EU continues to say wind power is a success story. The trouble is the EU has long been a teller of tall tales and is a stranger to the truth.”
STAG member Bob King, who lives in Marston village, said: “I would have two turbines within just half a mile of my home – I just hope the application is turned down by the local authority.
“This has been going on for years and years and I still can’t believe they (Wind Prospect) wants to put up these wind masts in such a beautiful rural area. They also want to plough through a road to serve the wind farm.
“Without subsidies there would be no wind farms as they simply would not be viable. Wind masts make a terrible noise and should be nowhere near residential properties.”
Natural England has stated its opposition to the proposed wind farm and English Heritage has called for the scheme to be refused.
English Heritage, protector of nearby Weston Park, stated: “The wind turbine development will, by virtue of its alien form, scale and blade motion, have a dominant and intrusive impact in this wider landscape which will be to the detriment of the setting and views out from of the registered park.
“English Heritage considers that the magnitude of this intrusion will cause substantial harm to the setting and significance of the registered historic park such as to warrant refusal of the application.”
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