PLANNING chiefs are to strongly recommend refusing proposals for a giant wind turbine near Uttoxeter after raising concerns about the impact on residents.
East Staffordshire Borough Council’s planning committee met on Monday to discuss its position on the 255ft wind turbine proposed by Aggregates Industries for Uttoxeter Quarry, in Spath.
The authority is being consulted on the plans by Staffordshire County Council which will ultimately make the decision.
Councillor Colin Whittaker, who represents the Abbey ward, said: “I think it is important to express the views of the locals. There has been a very detailed report done by the Uttoxeter Wind Turbine Action Group (UWTAG), it is very thorough and I congratulate them on an excellent piece of work.
“I am concerned about the application and I do not want to be safe in our observations to the county council.” Councillor Whittaker told the meeting he was concerned about the lack of energy they actually produce, which can be around 17 per cent, the fact it would only be 350 metres from the closest property and will dwarf listed buildings.
He also pointed out the quarry is currently due to finish in 2014 and the turbine would last 20 years.
Councillor Martin Blencowe, who represents the Uttoxeter Heath ward, said it would become an unwanted landmark in Uttoxeter which will replace St Mary’s spire, as it would be so much taller.
He said: “To have this wind turbine foisted upon us will affect the visuals and the landscape from every route you take into Uttoxeter. Currently St Mary’s spire is a symbol of Uttoxeter and to have this taken away is absolute nonsense.
“Your eyes will be automatically drawn to the wind turbine.” Councillor Michael Bowering added: “We are all for renewable energy that would not have an impact on the landscape.” In his report to the committee, planning officer Jonathan Imber outlined his recommendation of the concerns which the council agreed to pass on to the county council.
These included the large structure being significantly bigger than any other features, the close proximity to residential houses, shadow flicker, noise pollution, the incompatibility with restoration proposals and while the broad support for renewable energy proposals in the National Planning Policy Framework is noted, it is also noted that this is not unconditional and depends upon other issues.
Councillors unanimously agreed to the recommendations and added they wanted to make it clear to the county council they are against the plans.