Wind park was seen as tourist attraction

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HI-TECH windmills were coming to Hartlepool as part of an urban park development, the Mail revealed on September 26, 1989.

The wind park was proposed for the Central Park area of town.

“Council chiefs think they may be on to a cost-saving winner by planting the mills as part of an attractive park,” reported the Mail.

Paul Magee, chief planner for Hartlepool Borough Council, told the Mail: “The windmills would generate electricity and if they can get someone to consume the electricity it would meet some of the costs.”

The council’s intention to create an urban park in the area followed a study by a firm of consultants.

There were hopes the wind park “could become a tourist attraction” and the proposals also included extensive planting, walkways, a traditional park area and industrial heritage displays.

The article was illustrated by an artist’s impression, showing the twin-bladed turbines next to a walkway up the coast towards Steetley pier.

Besides having only two blades, the turbines were considerably smaller than the 200m (655ft) high structures currently being proposed for Graythorp Industrial Estate, Brenda Road West Industrial Estate and Tofts Road West, with hub heights of 30m (98ft).

Coun Ted Horseman, chairman of the planning committee, told the Mail: “The proposals are indicative of the council’s commitment to enhance the environment throughout the town.”

The council was hoping that the scheme would be jointly funded by the Department of the Environment and the public and private sectors.

Though wind power had been harnessed by windmills for centuries, the first modern windfarm in the UK did not open until two years later in 1991 – in Delabole, Cornwall. The farm consists of 10 turbines and produces enough energy for 2,700 homes.

Do you have any memories of the Central Park plans – and why they did not come to fruition – you would like to share with other readers?

Send them to andrew.levett@jpress.co.uk or write to him at Hartlepool Mail, New Clarence House, Wesley Square, Hartlepool, TS24 8BX.