Sedgefield MP presents Bill to make it easier for local people to reject giant windfarms

Darlington and Stockton Times: TALL ISSUE: Phil Wilson, Sedgefield MP, will battle to make it easier for local people to block the building of wind turbines. TALL ISSUE: Phil Wilson, Sedgefield MP, will battle to make it easier for local people to block the building of wind turbines.

A BILL to make it easier for local people to block the building of giant wind turbines will be presented to parliament today (Wednesday, December 12), by a North-East MP.

Phil Wilson, the Sedgefield MP, will urge ministers to change the rules to prevent the decision being automatically "called in " and made by a government minister.

The move follows growing concern over the spread of wind farms in County Durham, which has led to fears that the area will become the "land of the wind turbine".

Already, there are 17 wind farms in operation, with a further 13 in the planning system - enough to power 70 per cent of the homes in the county, Mr Wilson said.

And battle is raging over E.ON's plans for a 24-turbine wind development near Newton Aycliffe, called The Isles, which is currently out to consultation.

Turbines could be built within a mile of Newton Aycliffe and Chilton, and close to Woodham, Bradbury, Mordon and Preston-le-Skerne, either side of the A1(M) and close to the A167.

Now Mr Wilson will argue The Isles is exactly the sort of proposal that should be decided by local planners, not the Local Government Secretary, acting on the advice of the planning inspectorate quango.

He said: "At the moment, if a wind farm is going to generate more than 50 megawatts of electricity it is deemed to be a project of 'national significance' and the decision is made by the secretary of state.

"Yet the E.ON application will only generate enough electricity for Newton Aycliffe and Sedgefield Village. Much as I love those two places, the issue of a wind farm for them is not of national significance.

"A nuclear power station - such as the one, 15 miles away, that generates 1,480 megawatts - is of national significance, but wind farms should be decided by the local planning authority."

Mr Wilson added that County Durham already generated 27 per cent of its power from renewable sources - within touching distance of the national target of 30 per cent, by 2020.

The E.ON application is due to be decided by Energy Secretary Ed Davey, taking advice from what a minister called an "expert unit" within the department.

The Liberal Democrat is pro-wind power, but Conservatives from David Cameron downwards have made increasingly hostile noises about onshore developments.

Meanwhile, it was revealed yesterday that a 69-year-old grandmother is mounting a landmark legal challenge against the government over the number of wind turbines being built in Scotland.

Christine Metcalfe, from Argyll, will claim today, at the United Nations in Geneva, that Britain and the European Union have failed to ensure the public is given accurate information about the adverse impact of wind power.

Comments (8)

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1:17am Wed 12 Dec 12

Neil Robinson says...

Wonder what Phil Wilson's reaction would be if a nuclear power station was proposed for Sedgefield ?
Wonder what Phil Wilson's reaction would be if a nuclear power station was proposed for Sedgefield ? Neil Robinson

9:34am Wed 12 Dec 12

The Grim North says...

The alternative to a nuclear power station is to densely carpet an area equivalent to 1/3 of the total area of County Durham with wind turbines. Then when the wind doesn't blow?
The alternative to a nuclear power station is to densely carpet an area equivalent to 1/3 of the total area of County Durham with wind turbines. Then when the wind doesn't blow? The Grim North

10:31am Wed 12 Dec 12

Hunty1 says...

Judging by the flooding on the land "The Isles" would sink anyway!
Judging by the flooding on the land "The Isles" would sink anyway! Hunty1

11:29am Wed 12 Dec 12

David Lacey says...

They are often (preferably) built out at sea so a drop of water doesn't matter. What DOES matter is that they are a money making scam pushing up electricity prices and making life difficult for vulnerable people.
They are often (preferably) built out at sea so a drop of water doesn't matter. What DOES matter is that they are a money making scam pushing up electricity prices and making life difficult for vulnerable people. David Lacey

2:30pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Jolly Roger says...

So is Nuclear David, as decomissioning Nuclear plants cost billions which we have to pay for.

When working Wind Turbines are not causing Global Warmig like Gas and Coal plants.

We also know by our own gas central heating tht these can be turned off and on, so when the wind is not turning we have these plants on stand by.
So is Nuclear David, as decomissioning Nuclear plants cost billions which we have to pay for. When working Wind Turbines are not causing Global Warmig like Gas and Coal plants. We also know by our own gas central heating tht these can be turned off and on, so when the wind is not turning we have these plants on stand by. Jolly Roger

2:21am Thu 13 Dec 12

Red Grouse says...

Neil Robinson wrote:
Wonder what Phil Wilson's reaction would be if a nuclear power station was proposed for Sedgefield ?
Your comment does not make much sense.

National Grid tell us that even if we carpeted the countryside and our shorelines with DECC's worst case wind build of 23GW onshore and 51GW offshore (we currently have 5GW and 2.6GW respectively) we would still need 30.5GW of NEW nuclear and some 36GW of NEW gas-fuelled capacity just to keep the lights on.
[quote][p][bold]Neil Robinson[/bold] wrote: Wonder what Phil Wilson's reaction would be if a nuclear power station was proposed for Sedgefield ?[/p][/quote]Your comment does not make much sense. National Grid tell us that even if we carpeted the countryside and our shorelines with DECC's worst case wind build of 23GW onshore and 51GW offshore (we currently have 5GW and 2.6GW respectively) we would still need 30.5GW of NEW nuclear and some 36GW of NEW gas-fuelled capacity just to keep the lights on. Red Grouse

2:33am Thu 13 Dec 12

Red Grouse says...

Jolly Roger wrote:
So is Nuclear David, as decomissioning Nuclear plants cost billions which we have to pay for.

When working Wind Turbines are not causing Global Warmig like Gas and Coal plants.

We also know by our own gas central heating tht these can be turned off and on, so when the wind is not turning we have these plants on stand by.
Get your facts right. All levelised costings, which include nuclear decommissioning and storage, show nuclear as substantially cheaper than offshore wind and cheaper than onshore when you include the massive ancillary costs associated with wind of grid restructuring, backup and curtailment.

The historic costs of decommissioning first generation nuclear plants has nowt to do with owt.

You are also quite wrong about wind in your simplistic comparison with gas central heating - the experience in every distribution system with large wind capacity is that it destabilises the system and leads to inefficient use of thermal power stations, increasing emissions.
[quote][p][bold]Jolly Roger[/bold] wrote: So is Nuclear David, as decomissioning Nuclear plants cost billions which we have to pay for. When working Wind Turbines are not causing Global Warmig like Gas and Coal plants. We also know by our own gas central heating tht these can be turned off and on, so when the wind is not turning we have these plants on stand by.[/p][/quote]Get your facts right. All levelised costings, which include nuclear decommissioning and storage, show nuclear as substantially cheaper than offshore wind and cheaper than onshore when you include the massive ancillary costs associated with wind of grid restructuring, backup and curtailment. The historic costs of decommissioning first generation nuclear plants has nowt to do with owt. You are also quite wrong about wind in your simplistic comparison with gas central heating - the experience in every distribution system with large wind capacity is that it destabilises the system and leads to inefficient use of thermal power stations, increasing emissions. Red Grouse

11:10am Thu 13 Dec 12

Red Grouse says...

This article uses a picture of a single, small farm turbine (ca. 30m high) when the issue is the impacts of large numbers of 125m-plus turbines.

Poor editing.
This article uses a picture of a single, small farm turbine (ca. 30m high) when the issue is the impacts of large numbers of 125m-plus turbines. Poor editing. Red Grouse

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