Wind turbine approved for Hartlepool allotment site - despite concerns over 'emotive' issue

Councillors have praised plans which will see a wind turbine installed at an allotments in Hartlepool, providing additional renewable energy to the site.

Wednesday, 7th October 2020, 3:28 pm
Updated Wednesday, 7th October 2020, 3:29 pm

A Hartlepool Borough Council Planning Committee unanimously approved proposals to install the 5.6m-tall turbine at Haswell Avenue allotments to help provide power to the site.

According to the plans, submitted by Mr Stephen Wilkinson, the wind turbine would be located on top of a five metre pole at plot 25 at the site, which is currently designated as a communal plot managed by Haswell Avenue Allotments Association.

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Plans for a wind turbine at the allotment site were approved

However six objections had been submitted to the plans, raising concerns over the potential noise generated by the turbine and arguing it would be an ‘eyesore’.

Council officers recommended the plans were approved ahead of the meeting, noting the scale of the turbine would be in keeping with the area and be a similar size to nearby houses and street lights.

Mr Wilkinson, chairman of Haswell Avenue Allotments Association, told the committee the group has a drive to improve the site and provide environmental facilities.

The site often welcomes local school children, with six raised beds for growing flowers and vegetables, a pond, and a timber shed to be used by the children.

The allotment site where a wind turbine will be installed

He said: “I know mention of the words ‘wind turbine’ can be quite emotive for some, and people may think it’s as big as the ones at Hart. However this one is on a microscale.

“It will provide enough power to supply three 100 watt light bulbs and that’s enough for us to top up our solar power during the winter months when our battery goes flat.

“This is a green initiative which will benefit 31 plots on site, providing additional renewable energy while increasing security through improved lighting of the site, as recommended by the community safety team.”

He added the 5.6metre wind turbine would be lower than the smallest lamppost on Haswell Avenue, and would go unnoticed from a distance among street lights, telephone posts and CCTV.

He also stated the turbine blades are designed to be very quiet and would be the same volume as ‘a normal conversation’.

This proposal for the wind turbine has been funded by a police grant, according to the applicant, and has been developed since 2017.

Mr Wilkinson added he hoped children visiting the plots would be able to learn about the importance of renewable energy with the new development.

He said: “Hopefully we can also introduce wind energy to the children and show the importance of sustainability and highlight how having a renewable energy source, however small, provides a contribution to the reduction in CO2 and reduces our environmental impact.”

Councillors on the planning committee praised the development, adding it should act as an example to other allotment sites.

Cllr Jim Lindridge said: “I think it’s environmentally friendly, you’ve got community engagement there, it’s self-sufficient, it’s innovative, and I’d like to see other allotments follow suit. I think it’s a great idea”

Cllr Brenda Loynes added: “When you get down to it, it’s not that big [the wind turbine]. I think it’s an excellent idea.”

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