Toppling fear sees size of Hartlepool wind turbines reduced - but they’ll still be bigger than Blackpool Tower

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THE height of three planned wind turbines in Hartlepool that would be taller than Blackpool Tower have been reduced following safety concerns from railway chiefs.

Energy consultants have amended their plans for the towering structures from 672ft to 574ft.

It is after Network Rail raised concerns that if one of the turbines toppled over it crash over the rail line.

The Energy Workshop, which is seeking planning permission for a turbine at Brenda Road West industrial estate, one at Graythorp Industrial Estate, and one at Tofts Road West.

A spokesman for agents The Energy Workshop, acting on behalf of the applicant Mark Whitehead, said: “There was an objection from Network Rail over the topple distance.

“We reduced the height of one of the three turbines to take account of that.”

The agents then decided to reduce the height of the others as well so they all look the same.

Network Rail’s advice to the applicants was no turbine plant material or equipment must be positioned where it could fall within three metres of the railway line or any overhead electrified equipment.

But the Energy Workshop spokesman added: “The risk of topple was so minimal that it wasn’t a risk at all.”

The height proposed previously sparked concern among some councillors for the areas where they are planned.

Independent Seaton Carew councillor Paul Thompson called them an abomination to the skyline.

The Energy Workshop says combined the three turbines could supply almost a third of the equivalent household electricity needs of Hartlepool, and would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by around 25,000 tonnes per year.”

And documents attached to the Brenda Road application say local firms could benefit by bidding for contracts worth up to £2.25m.

Supporting documents added: “The Brenda Road project will expand and diversify the existing renewable energy industrial sector in Hartlepool, and will support ongoing investment and management in the area with subsequent indirect benefits to the local economy.”

The applications are due to go before the council’s planning committee for decision in February or March.