‘An abomination’ – plans for Hartlepool to get wind turbines higher than Blackpool Tower

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PLANS to build three wind turbines 160ft taller than Blackpool Tower will be “an abomination to the skyline”, claims a councillor.

The single turbines, with a ground-to-tip height of 677ft – bigger than Blackpool’s Tower at 518ft – would each be sited on land at Graythorpe Industrial Estate, adjacent to TATA Steel off Brenda Road and Tofts Road West, all in Hartlepool.

The plans have been submitted to Hartlepool Borough Council by renewable energy consultants The Energy Workshop, agents acting on behalf of a applicant Mark Whitehead.

The Energy Workshop says the turbines would 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.

They say revenue from the scheme would generate a “significant” community fund to benefit local causes over the 30-year lifespan of the turbines.

If given the go-ahead, the turbines, each with an electrical control building and associated infrastructure, would be built in 2015-16.

But Independent Seaton ward councillor Paul Thompson said: “In principal I’m quite supportive of the idea of natural energy such as wind turbines.

“However those ones proposed are completely out of character of the area and will end up being an abomination to the skyline.

“When you consider that they are 20 times higher than a normal two-storey house, some of the houses close to it are actually bungalows.

“It’s going to be 40 times higher than the closest house and the people living in close proximity are going to have to put up with that overpowering them.”

Seaton UKIP councillor Thomas Hind said: “As a member of UKIP, we are against wind turbines simply because A, they don’t work and B, they tend to be a blot on the landscape.

“I’m not necessarily going to go along with the party or go along with residents, but I have had an objection from a resident and I will look into it.”

The ward’s Putting Hartlepool First Councillor Kelly Atkinson said: “I’m generally in support of wind turbines but obviously we need to look at the height and proximity.”

An Energy Workshop spokesman said other than information at www.hartlepoolrenewables.co.uk, they didn’t feel it appropriate to comment ahead of any planning meeting.”