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FIGHTING TO PRESERVE OUR NATURAL LANDSCAPE AND WILDLIFE FROM INDUSTRIAL TURBINES
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Dear HUGAG Supporters,


It is with great pleasure and huge relief that we can at last report with absolute certainty that Banks Renewables has not put in an Appeal regarding Planning Application CMA/6/48 for wind turbines at Windy Bank. This was confirmed yesterday evening, 9th November, by their spokesman Lewis Stokes. The six-month window in which Banks had the right to lodge an Appeal against the refusal by Durham County Council expired on Friday 6th November.

We at HUGAG have spent the past six months assembling the arguments that we are totally confident would have validated our case at Appeal. We were ready to step forward, had it been necessary, and we have always been backed up by a team of highly qualified experts, including our own QC, to give us technical support - so we owe them all our sincere thanks.

We are absolutely convinced, though, that the unwavering opposition to the proposal shown by you, our supporters, was central to this outcome. For over seven years the overwhelming majority of local people have staunchly stood against what we all perceived as a totally inappropriate location for an industrial development of this nature.

We are intensely aware that those of you living in close proximity to such a proposed development have been put under unique, severe and sustained stress. To live with this threat year after year is incredibly testing. So the fact that we have continued to have your support, and that many of you have written not once but several times to oppose this proposal, has been extraordinary.

We are only now starting to digest the enormity of this outcome and we still have a lot of work to do.  We are by no means feeling triumphalist – we are only hugely relieved that the right decision has been taken in favour of the countryside.

We learn from this that we can’t ever sit back and assume that the natural environment will win out in the end. We were right to defend it, and we would do it all again.


With best wishes to you all and unlimited thanks,

The team at HUGAG


PS  This is emphatically not 'goodbye.'  We hope to arrange a meeting to thank you in person before too long

 




 



Hello HUGAG supporters,

The Banks Renewables wind farm proposal, Planning Application number CMA/6/48

 

You will probably be aware of recent  Government statements about wind farm subsidies being axed sooner than originally planned (April 2016 rather than a year later) and about the importance of local communities having more say in whether industrial-scale wind projects go ahead. 

You can rest assured that within HUGAG we are, of course, watching these developments closely.

We don’t think the changes in the subsidies regime is necessarily all that important for the above proposal, but the emphasis on local decision-making may reasonably give us a degree of encouragement. 

With 27 local Parish Councils opposing the concept of allowing industrial-scale turbines to spread into Teesdale, let alone the hundreds of individually written letters sent by you, our magnificent supporters, we feel confident that local opposition to Planning Application CMA/6/48 has been comprehensively demonstrated.

We all need to remember, though, that the rewards to developers of pursuing such development proposals remain very enticing.  As you know, Banks Renewables have six months since the date of the refusal of their planning application (on 5th May) in which to go to Appeal.  The possibility that they may choose that option therefore remains very active.

We shall let you know as soon as we hear anything further , of course, but this battle is not necessarily over and we may well find ourselves calling on you again.  In the meantime we simply want to thank you once again for your support. 

You are our greatest strength.

With best wishes to you all,

The team at HUGAG




 



'Victory, for now...' 

05 May 2015

Hello, all HUGAG supporters,

Today was nerve-wracking in the extreme.  The Case Officer Claire Teasdale had, as you know, recommended against the proposal - but the decision is always taken by the Planning Committee members, who are County Councillors drawn from all areas of the county.  In the event, they split six in favour of her recommendation and six against, so the Chairman had a casting vote and he voted to accept Ms Teasdale's recommendation and refuse the application.

In other words the result could not have been closer.

It would be pleasing if Banks Renewables were to accept the result and walk away, demonstrating their credentials as a 'development with care' company.  The benefits to them and to a few landowners are, however, so attractive that they may decide to appeal.  If they do, they have up to six months in which to do so.

That is why this message is headed 'Victory, for now...' 

It could equally have been headed 'Thank you!'  We do indeed thank all those who were there today, and all who have written letters, MOST warmly for your long-standing and patient support.  You can't imagine how much it has meant to us.

This is not necessarily the end of the story but we can assure you that, with your continuing support, we shall fight on.

Once again, Thank you,

The team at HUGAG

 





 

 

Dear HUGAG supporters,

We need your support in person, please, this Tuesday afternoon at County Hall, when the Planning Committee meets at 1.00pm to discuss planning application number CMA/6/48  by Banks Renewables for four massive turbines adjacent to Hamsterley Forest.

We need to make it crystal clear to those Councillors on the Planning Committee that this proposal is not wanted locally.  We need them to see that we are not taken in by promises of jobs, when we know that any that did result would last for at most a few months.  We need them to understand that the offer of a 'Community Fund' has no appeal when the cost to us would be the sacrifice of many magnificent views, the inevitable damage to wildlife and the devastation of the tranquillity that is the hallmark of our area. 

As a reminder of the key issues we attach a summary of our views.

You have given us fantastic support for over five years and now your presence can really help us.  Please join us on Tuesday if you possibly can.

With best wishes,
The team at HUGAG






 

Hello to all HUGAG supporters,

We have received the attached notification letter today and now know that the planning application we have been opposing for the past six years is finally coming to the DCC Planning Committee on the afternoon of Tuesday 5th May - two days before the General Election!  Rather than spend the day in a state of anxiety, please plan to join us at County Hall on the day if you possibly can.

We are working on a final push to the local media, and will be back in touch with you again very shortly.

With best wishes from us all,

The team at HUGAG


Click on the links below for further information...

Report by Claire Teasdale, Principal Planning Officer    

 Letter of notification                       
                                    








 



Hello, HUGAG supporters,

 

As you know, a Planning Committee Meeting to consider the above planning application may be fairly imminent.

 

We've been aware, though, that no meeting could go ahead until some key reports by DCC officers were submitted, but in the last week two crucial reports have finally appeared - one by Terry Coult on the Ecological Impact of the proposal, and the other by Ged Lawson on the Landscape Impact.

 Both of these echo comments HUGAG has been making for several years. We hope you may find them interesting.

 

With best wishes from all at HUGAG


 

Hello again (after quite a while) to all our faithful HUGAG supporters,


Those of you who joined HUGAG at the first opportunity will know that we have now been fighting the battle against the application for industrial wind turbines between Hamsterley Forest and Woodland village for six years!

Just to refresh your memory, despite some alterations to Banks Renewables' original proposal, we are still faced with four 125-metre turbines, three of which would be immediately alongside the road that skirts the southern edge of the Forest, and one a bit further south into the site. 

We continue to argue - on landscape, ecology, noise and residential amenity grounds - that this is a completely inappropriate location for any such development.

It does now seem that we are approaching the first really crucial meeting at which a decision will be taken by Durham County Council.  The DCC planners have a Planning Committee Meeting scheduled for Tuesday 5th May, and we would be really grateful if all our supporters could make a note of the date and be ready, if at all possible, to attend the meeting. 

It may be, however, that they will not be ready in time so, while keeping this date clear, please continue to watch our messages.  If they don't manage the May date, the next Planning Committee Meeting will be on Tuesday 2nd June.

You have been very patient and we really do appreciate that you have stuck with us for so long.

With warm thanks from all at HUGAG




 

Update on planning proposal CMA/6/48 for four 125-metre Turbines between Woodland village and Hamsterley Forest

We write to let you know that during the past month a large number of letters have been submitted to Durham County Council, copied to all DCC Councillors and to the local MP, Helen Goodman, in support of the above proposal.

These are in every case one of two formula letters.  The first is a letter in which the sender simply fills in a blank space saying why he or she supports the project; the second is a much longer and more detailed letter that only requires a signature.

It has taken very little online analysis to identify almost every one of – so far – over 80 letters as being either from a Banks employee, a relative of a Banks employee (the surnames and addresses being clearly the same) or from a business almost certainly associated with Banks as sub-contractors.  Very few of those writing have addresses anywhere near the villages of Woodland or Hamsterley, where the majority of concerned residents live.

The Hamsterley & Upper Gaunless Action Group would like to draw attention to the fact that, by contrast, these local residents, and many others who clearly know and value the site where the development is proposed, have sent a far, far larger number of passionately felt, individually written letters to oppose the project.

We would also like to list – and thank most sincerely – the 21 Parish Councils that have already voted against the proposal.  They are, in alphabetical order:   Barnard Castle (Town Council), Bolam, Brandon & Byshottles, Cockfield, Cotherstone, Eggleston, Etherley, Evenwood & Barony, Gainford & Langton, Hamsterley, Hutton Magna, Ingleton, Lynesack & Softley, North Lodge, Peterlee, South Bedburn, West Auckland, Whorlton & Westwick, Witton-le-Wear, Wolsingham and Woodland.

A number of others have notified us that they have still to meet and frame a response, but it is already hard to imagine what stronger evidence of community opposition there could be.

Any further objections to this proposal, from Parish Councils or from individuals, will of course be enormously appreciated.  Meanwhile to all who have written already, we say a more emphatic THANK YOU than you can imagine!

 

With best wishes from the team at HUGAG

Check our News 2014 page...





 

Parish Councils Response Type
Barnard Castle Town Council Objection
Bolam Objection
Brandon & Byshottles Objection
Cockfield Objection
Cotherstone Objection
Eggleston Objection
Etherley Objection
Evenwood & Barony Objection
Gainford & Langton Objection
Hamsterley Objection
Hutton Magna Objection
Ingleton Objection
Lynesack & Softley Objection
Marwood Objection
Mickleton Objection
North Lodge Objection
Peterlee Objection
Rokeby, Brignall & Eggleston Abbey Objection
South Bedburn Objection
Starforth Objection
West Auckland Objection
Whorlton & Westwick Objection
Winston Objection
Witton-le-Wear Objection
Wolsingham Objection
Woodland Objection




Letters Received all available online :-

http://spatial.durham.gov.uk/dcs/DetailMain.asp?appid=2486&AppRef=CMA%2F6%2F48&Category=All&Status=All&Appeal=All&District=All&Month=All&Year=All


Please let us know if we need to change or update any of the following... HUGAG@live.co.uk

Name of Consultee Response Type Name Letter authenticity to check
 1 LADYWELL, HAMSTERLEY.PDF  Objection G Tindale  
 1 LADYWELL, HAMSTERLEY2.PDF  Objection Resident  
 11 MOUNTFIELD WAY, BOULTON MOOR, DERBY.PDF  Objection J Baker  
 13 COPLEY, BISUOP AUCKLAND.PDF  Objection K Angel  
 2 DALE VIEW, HIGH ETHERLEY.PDF  Objection P Forbes  
 2 HOLLY TERRACE, HOWDEN-LE-WEAR.PDF  Objection Name withheld  
 25 COPLEY, BISHOP AUCKLAND.PDF  Objection H Wilkinson  
 25 COPLEY, BISHOP AUCKLAND2.PDF  Objection S Gaunt  
 3 SALTERS GATE, HAMSTERLEY.PDF  Objection J O'Brien  
 3 WHARTON TERRACE, WOODLAND.PDF  Objection J Strickland  
 4 CHAPEL TERRACE, COPLEY.PDF  Objection D Oflaherty  
 42 LOW GREEN, GAINFORD.PDF  Objection B Goyder  
 5 HUNTERS RIDE, APPLETON WISKE, NORTHALLERTON2.PDF  Objection H johnson  
 6 MIDDLETON ROAD, WOODLAND.PDF  Objection S Jenkin R Craven  
 6 THE WILLOWS, BISHOP AUCKLAND.PDF  Objection S Rochester  
 8 KIRK VIEW, BARNARD CASTLE.PDF  Objection I Martin  
 9 WOODLAND HEIGHTS, WOODLAND.PDF  Objection B Abbott  
 ANN BISHOP.PDF  Objection A Bishop  
 ANNIE DA COSTA.PDF  Objection A da Costa  
 AUTUMN HOUSE, BRADBURY.PDF  Objection S Fox  
 BARNARD CASTLE TOWN COUNCIL.PDF  Objection H Plant  
 BLAXTER COTTAGE, ELSDON.PDF  Objection T Patrick  
 BRIAN ILES AND HEATHER ALDERSON.PDF  Objection H Alderson  
 CAROLINE PEACOCK.PDF  Objection C Peacock  
 CHAPEL BARN, BOLAM.PDF  Objection K Pagella  
 CHAPEL BARN, BOLAM2.PDF  Objection J Pagella  
 CHRIS DAVIES2.PDF  Objection C Davies  
 COTHERSTONE PARISH COUNCIL.PDF  Objection B Thwaites  
 CRAKE SCAR COTTAGE, HAMSTERLEY.PDF  Objection R Wilkinson  
 DEREK AND FREDA TOON.PDF  Objection D F Toon  
 DOREEN MORTON.PDF  Objection D Morton  
 DURHAM BIRD CLUB.PDF  Objection R Cowen  
 EAST HOWLE FARM, LYNESACK.PDF  Objection P Wilkinson  
 EAST HOWLE FARM, LYNESACK2.PDF  Objection P Wilkinson(2)  
 EGGLESTON PARISH COUNCIL.PDF  Objection C Bell  
 ELM TREE LODGE, WOODLAND.PDF  Objection A Rutter  
 ELM TREE LODGE, WOODLAND2.PDF  Objection J Rutter  
 EMILY IREMONGER.PDF  Objection E Iremonger  
 ENVIRONMENT INFORMATION SERVICES.PDF  Objection G Sinclair  
 EVENWOOD PARISH COUNCIL.PDF  Objection M Clark  
 FOLD HOWE, KENTMIRE, CUMBRIA.PDF  Objection G Talbot  
 FOLD HOWE, KENTMIRE, CUMBRIA2.PDF  Objection RK Talbot  
 GAINFORD PARISH COUNCIL.PDF  Objection M Clark  
 GROVE HOUSE, REDFORD, HAMSTERLEY.PDF  Objection J King  
 GROVE HOUSE, REDFORD, HAMSTERLEY2.PDF  Objection J King  
 HALL COTTAGE, HAMSTERLEY.PDF  Objection S Teasdale  
 HALL COTTAGE, HAMSTERLEY2.PDF  Objection E Teasdale  
 HALLGARTH, WOODLAND.PDF  Objection D Ewart  
 HALLGARTH, WOODLAND2.PDF  Objection V Ewart  
 HAMSTERLEY PARISH COUNCIL.PDF  Objection Parish Council  
 HOLMELEA, HAMSTERLEY.PDF  Objection P morris  
 HUGAG2.PDF  Objection Hugag  
 HUGAG3.PDF  Objection Hugag  
 IAN TIDMARSH2.PDF  Objection I Tidmarsh  
 JILL TIDMARSH.PDF  Objection J Tidmarsh  
 L SHAW.PDF  Objection L Shaw  
 LANGDALE HOUSE, HAMSTERLEY.PDF  Objection Name Withheld  
 LANGDALE HOUSE, HAMSTERLEY2.PDF  Objection Name Withheld  
 LARK RISE, MIDDLETON ROAD, WOODLAND.PDF  Objection K Hutchinson  
 LOUGHRIGG, PINFOLD LANE, BUTTERKNOWLE.PDF  Objection W Kellett  
 LOW STONECHESTER FARM, HAMSTERLEY.PDF  Objection A Bainbridge  
 LOW STONECHESTER FARM, HAMSTERLEY2.PDF  Objection I Bainbridge  
 LOW STONECHESTER FARM, HAMSTERLEY3.PDF  Objection F Bainbridge  
 LYNESACK AND SOFTLEY PC4.PDF  Objection Parish Council  
 MAURO PANNI.PDF  Objection M Panni  
 MAYLAND FARM, WOODLAND.PDF  Objection J Mortimer  
 MIDDLETON-IN-TEESDALE AND NEWBIGGIN PARISH COUNCIL.PDF  Objection Parish Council  
 MILESTONE HOUSE, WOODLAND2.PDF  Objection D Snowdon  
 MOORSIDE COTTAGE, WOODLAND.PDF  Objection V Blackwood  
 MOORSIDE COTTAGE, WOODLAND2.PDF  Objection P Blackwood  
 MR C DOWEN.PDF  Objection C Dowen  
 MR C SWINDALE.PDF  Objection C Swindale  
 MR D EAMES.PDF  Objection D Eames  
 MR D O'BRIEN.PDF  Objection D O'Brien  
 MR D WILEMAN.PDF  Objection D Wileman  
 MR I BAINBRIDGE.PDF  Objection I Bainbridge  
 MR I DENNING.PDF  Objection I Denning  
 MR J BISHOP.PDF  Objection J Bishop  
 MR J CHILCOTT.PDF  Objection J Chilcott  
 MR J HODGES.PDF  Objection J Hodges  
 MR L MILNER.PDF  Objection L Milner  
 MR M DUGDALE.PDF  Objection M Dugdale  
 MR P ROUTLEDGE.PDF  Objection P Routledge  
 MR T ROBINSON.PDF  Objection T Robinson  
 NORTH VIEW, HAMSTERLEY.PDF  Objection C Sammut  
 NORTH VIEW, HAMSTERLEY2.PDF  Objection M Sammut  
 NORTHSIDE, HAMSTERLEY.PDF  Objection Name withheld  
 PADDOCK HOUSE, 7 WOODLAND HEIGHTS, WOODLAND.PDF  Objection M Timms  
 PATRICIA PANNI.PDF  Objection P Panni  
 PEAR TREE HOUSE, HAMSTERLEY.PDF  Objection A & J Bee  
 PENELOPE IREMONGER.PDF  Objection P Iremonger  
 POOL TREE FARM, HAMSTERLEY.PDF  Objection JR Kirton  
 POOL TREE FARM, HAMSTERLEY2.PDF  Objection SM Kirton  
 ROBINS CASTLE, WOODLAND.PDF  Objection R Castle  
 ROSEDALE COTTAGE, WOODLAND.PDF  Objection M Grech  
 SHULL HOUSE, HAMSTERLEY.PDF  Objection V Jones  
 STONEGARTH HOUSE, ELLINGSTRING, NORTH YORKSHIRE.PDF  Objection G Smith  
 SUMMARY HOUSE, WOODLAND.PDF  Objection I Brown  
 SUSAN BRADLEY.PDF  Objection S Bradley  
 THE ARCHES, THE EDGE, WOODLAND.PDF  Objection P Horrocks  
 THE CROFT, HAMSTERLEY.PDF  Objection P Bloor  
 THE GROVE, REDFORD, HAMSTERLEY.PDF  Objection A Swindale  
 THE STABLES, PARADISE FARM, WOODLAND.PDF  Objection J Gardner  
 TILLSIDE, 1 THE PETH, WOOLER.PDF  Objection A Hilton  
 WEST CRANE ROW FARM, HAMSTERLEY.PDF  Objection G Oldroyd  
 WEST GATE COTE FARM, LYNESACK.PDF  Objection D & J Campbell  
 WEST HALL, 27 HOLYWOOD, WOLSINGHAM.PDF  Objection J Atkinson  
 WEST HOPPYLAND FARM, BEDBURN, HAMSTERLEY.PDF  Objection J Bainbridge  
 WITTON LE WEAR PARISH COUNCIL.PDF  Objection Parish Council  
 WOLSINGHAM PARISH COUNCIL.PDF  Objection Parish Council  
 WOODLAND HOUSE, WOODLAND.PDF  Objection B Harding  
 WOODLAND PARISH COUNCIL2.PDF  Objection Parish Council  
 INGLETON PARISH COUNCIL.PDF  Objection Parish Council  
  113    
 15 NORTH TERRACE, GAINFORD.PDF  Support L Kelsey Banks employee/conection
 15 NORTH TERRACE, GAINFORD2.PDF  Support C Kelsey Banks employee/conection
 2 CONNAUGHT MEWS, JESMOND.PDF  Support A Heron Banks employee/conection
 2 DICKENS WAY, CROOK.PDF  Support J Burnhope Banks employee/conection
 2 GLADSTONE STREET, CROOK.PDF  Support A Rudkin Banks employee/conection
 2 MILL ISLE, WOLSINGHAM.PDF  Support C Hogarth Banks employee/conection
 27 KIPLING WAY, CROOK.PDF  Support M Crossley Banks employee/conection
 3 MERRYBENT DRIVE, DARLINGTON.PDF  Support C Kelsey (2) Banks employee/conection
 31 AUSTEN WAY, CROOK.PDF  Support C Dowdall Banks employee/conection
 4 ST MARYS TERRACE, RYTON.PDF  Support J Hancock Banks employee/conection
 46 COPPICE HILL, ESH WINNING.PDF  Support S Ellis Banks employee/conection
 54 GROSVENOR GARDENS, JESMOND VALE.PDF  Support M Gray Banks employee/conection
 59 OAK AVENUE, DUNSTON.PDF  Support J Kielty Banks employee/conection
 6 WEARDALE HOUSE, STANHOPE.PDF  Support M Simmons Banks employee/conection
 40 SOUTHWOOD GARDENS, NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE.PDF  Support S Thistlethwaite Banks employee/conection
 41 CEDAR DRIVE, MIDDLESBROUGH.PDF  Support W Dodds Banks employee/conection
 41 LISTER TERRACE, WOLSINGHAM.PDF  Support M Armstrong Banks employee/conection
 50 ILFORD AVENUE, CRAMLINGTON.PDF  Support J Donnelly Banks employee/conection
 7 ANNFIELD ROAD, CRAMLINGTON.PDF  Support G Morgan Banks employee/conection
 8 BARRINGTON WAY, BOWBURN.PDF  Support D Hurton Banks employee/conection
 80 OAKFIELDS, HUNWICK.PDF  Support S Hanlon Banks employee/conection
 80 OAKFIELDS, HUNWICK2.PDF  Support J Hanlon Banks employee/conection
 9 CLIFFORD AVENUE, BISHOP AUCKLAND.PDF  Support M Shuttleworth Banks employee/conection
 9 ST JOHN'S ROAD, NEVILLES CROSS.PDF  Support R Meek Banks employee/conection
 9 ST JOHN'S ROAD, NEVILLES CROSS2.PDF  Support M Meek Banks employee/conection
 ANVIL HOUSE, NORTHALLERTON.PDF  Support P Whyman Banks employee/conection
 VICTORIA FARM, WITTON LE WEAR.PDF  Support G Banks Banks employee/conection
 10 WINDSOR GARDENS, SHILDON.PDF  Support Name Withheld  Banks employee/conection
 11 WESTFIELD DRIVE, HURWORTH.PDF  Support Nicola Coultas Banks employee/conection
 19 COLVILLE COURT, EAST STANLEY.PDF  Support M Meck Banks employee/conection
 2 VILLAGE GATE, HOWDEN LE WEAR.PDF  Support G Glass Banks employee/conection
 2 VILLAGE GATE, HOWDEN LE WEAR2.PDF  Support C Glass Banks employee/conection
 22 SOUTH CRESCENT, DURHAM.PDF  Support G Dickenson Banks employee/conection
 23 MEADOW GREEN, SPENNYMOOR.PDF  Support J Bethell Banks employee/conection
 24 WEAVERS CROFT, CROOK.PDF  Support L Cook Banks employee/conection
 3 FENHALL PARK, LANCHESTER.PDF  Support Name withheld Banks employee/conection
 3 FENHALL PARK, LANCHESTER2.PDF  Support Name withheld Banks employee/conection
 3 THE GRANGE, WOODHAM.PDF  Support M Aldred Banks employee/conection
 3 THE GRANGE, WOODHAM2.PDF  Support Aldred Banks employee/conection
 3 WOODSIDE, CROOK.PDF  Support Seed Banks employee/conection
 33 CASTLE VIEW, WITTON LE WEAR.PDF  Support E Wilson Banks employee/conection
 34 LYONETTE ROAD, DARLINGTON.PDF  Support A Piper Banks employee/conection
 34 LYONETTE ROAD, DARLINGTON2.PDF  Support M Dutton Banks employee/conection
 36 LARKSPUR TERRACE, JESMOND.PDF  Support J Platten Banks employee/conection
 37 RICHARDSON COURT, BURNVIEW, WILLINGTON.PDF  Support D McWilliam Banks employee/conection
 37 RICHARDSON COURT, WILLINGTON.PDF  Support M McWilliam Banks employee/conection
 4 LEEHOLME ROAD, LEEHOLME.PDF  Support S Serej Banks employee/conection
 40 ROCHESTER CLOSE, ETHERLEY DENE.PDF  Support S McGregor Banks employee/conection
 12 CHEVIOT VIEW, WHITLEY BAY.PDF  Support Gareth Whalley Banks employee/conection
 12 CHEVIOT VIEW, WHITLEY BAY2.PDF  Support Mike Pecke Banks employee/conection
 CLICKEMIN FARM, COTTAGE, PONTELAND.PDF  Support R Hutchinson Banks employee/conection
 B AND K DEVELOPMENTS.PDF  Support B&K Developments Company
 B AND K DEVELOPMENTS2.PDF  Support B&K Developments Company
 H AND H LAND AND PROPERTY LTD., DURHAM.PDF  Support D Quayle Company
 HALL CONSTRUCTION SERVICES LTD., WINDLESTONE.PDF  Support Hall Construction Company
 KBR IT NETWORKING SOLUTIONS LTD..PDF  Support M Allen Company
 KEP SERVICES (UK) LTD., CHESTER-LE-STREET.PDF  Support C Jobson Company
 MGL DEMOLITION LTD., DURHAM.PDF  Support M Davison Company
 RAINTON CONSTRUCTION LTD., DURHAM.PDF  Support D Elliott Company
 STAINTON QUARRY LTD..PDF  Support T McHake Company
 THE CORONATION PRESS LTD., COXHOE.PDF  Support BJ Hewitson Company
 1 BARNSETT GRANGE, SUNDERLAND BRIDGE.PDF  Support Name Withheld To Check
 113 WESTBOURNE ROAD, HARTLEPOOL.PDF  Support Chris Maddison To Check
 17 GOODWOOD CLOSE, SHOTLEY BRIDGE.PDF  Support J Wolstenholme To Check
 6 CHESTER STREET, HOUGHTON-LE-SPRING.PDF  Support J Holt To Check
 6 WALKER TERRACE, FERRYHILL.PDF  Support I Glynn To Check
 8 FIRBECK WALK, THORNABY ON TEES.PDF  Support C Moore To Check
 8 HACKWOOD PARK, HEXHAM.PDF  Support D Thomas To Check
 HOLLIN HOUSE, HOLLIN HILL, RIDING MILL.PDF  Support B J Pilgrim To Check
 1 WELLGARTH COURT, NORTH BITCHBURN.PDF  Support John Dowson To Check
 11 HAWTHORN VIEW, THORNLEY.PDF  Support Valerie Stott To Check
 12 LOUISA TERRACE, ST HELEN'S AUCKLAND.PDF  Support P W Teesdale  
 2 QUEEN'S COURT, GAINFORD.PDF  Support J Holmes  
 2 SIMPSON ROAD, WEST AUCKLAND.PDF  Support L Bannister  
 21 UPLANDS CLOSE, CROOK.PDF  Support R Dowson  
 30 WHARTON STREET, COUNDON.PDF  Support J Goldsborough  
 4 HILLSIDE, STAPLETON.PDF  Support F Collins  
 4 OAKDENE TERRACE, MIDDLESTONE MOOR.PDF  Support Danielle  
 5 GRAYSON ROAD, SPENNYMOOR.PDF  Support L Binns  
 53 ULLSWATER AVENUE, WEST AUCKLAND.PDF  Support T McHale  
 9 SIMPSON ROAD, WEST AUCKLAND.PDF  Support L Harris  
 CRAKE SCAR FARM, HAMSTERLEY.PDF  Support B Herworth  
 FEDERATION OF SMALL BUSINESSES.PDF  Support P Pallent  
 HELEN GOODMAN MP.PDF  Support H Goodman  
 ROPEMOOR HOUSE, WINDLESTONE.PDF  Support N Hall To Check
 STOTFORTH HILL FARM, WINDLESTONE.PDF  Support S Hall To Check
 WEST BIGGINS FARM, FROSTERLEY.PDF  Support J Walton  
 RODCAIRN, DURHAM ROAD, WHEATLEY HILL.PDF  Wrong Wind Farm   Durham CC may want to move this to the correct planning application






 

 

The Environment Minister says he wouldn’t want to live beside a wind turbine

The Labour Party deputy leader was speaking to local radio in Waterford this morning. 21/09/2014

read more..............hugag.co.uk/page5.php


 

Damning evidence of wind farms polluting the Scottish countryside can today be revealed by The Sunday Post.

Scotland’s environmental watchdog has probed more than 100 incidents involving turbines in just six years, including diesel spills, dirty rivers, blocked drains and excessive noise.  Alarmingly, they also include the contamination of drinking water and the indiscriminate dumping of waste, with warning notices issued to a handful of energy giants.

READ MORE......go to News 2014

 


04 September 2014

RESPONSE from HUGAG to statement by HELEN GOODMAN MP

To say that HUGAG, the Hamsterley & Upper Gaunless Action Group, is astonished by the intervention of our local MP Helen Goodman in favour of the wind farm proposal at Windy Bank would be an understatement.  We almost wonder if she is thinking of the right Hamsterley! 

Let us reaffirm from the outset that HUGAG is not automatically opposed to wind turbines.  We are only opposed to wind turbines in unsuitable and inappropriate places – and that, as it happens, is what Mr Miliband said a few days ago too.

HUGAG is concerned for the care and conservation of the Hamsterley and Upper Gaunless Valley area in general.  We seek to protect its spectacular landscape and rich wildlife, certainly, but we also focus on the amenity and prosperity of the local community. 

The lives of people in our area will not be transformed by the ‘community fund’ proposed by the developer, a total of £1.75m spread over the next 25 years.  Their lives would be transformed, however, by the presence of four industrial turbines right beside Hamsterley Forest.  At 125 metres these would be more than six times the height of the Angel of the North.

They would affect residents and visitors alike and, in detracting from the charm of the area, they could very well lead to a downturn in the local economy.  Why is Helen Goodman not concerned about that?

Why, equally, is she not concerned that all seven local Parish Councils (Hamsterley, South Bedburn, Woodland, Lynesack & Softley, Cockfield, Evenwood & Barony and Eggleston) have recommended against this proposal?  She seems to be remarkably out of touch with her constituents.

It is surely extraordinary that in the county that is miles ahead of any other in terms of meeting the low carbon energy challenge (County Durham has long since exceeded its 2020 targets) the MP responsible for the unspoilt west of the county should be clamouring for yet more turbines.

The vast, uninterrupted views in the two Durham Dales, Teesdale and Weardale, lift the spirit and are intrinsic to the character of western County Durham. They are more than comparable with the better known Yorkshire Dales. They are a place of health-giving recreation from which all Durham residents benefit, a precious resource for the entire population of the county and beyond.

HUGAG is not, therefore, fighting from a NIMBY residents’ point of view to protect this landscape. We are fighting for all who recognise that this uniquely unspoilt heritage is a treasure which, once damaged, can never be retrieved.

HUGAG concurs with the North East Regional Spatial Strategy in saying that the Windy Bank site is “unsuitable for turbine development due to its narrow ridge character, settlement pattern and the area’s proximity and relationship with the North Pennines AONB.”  Need we say more?

 All who sign up to join hugag@live.co.uk

will obtain full details of this proposal and information about what can be done to oppose it. With our local MP against us, but in the certainty that we represent the view of most local residents, we would warmly welcome an avalanche of new letters to prove our point.

 The HUGAG team




Picture for graphic ilustration pupose only

 

 



MP 'out of touch' over Windy Bank

MP Helen Goodman has been accused of being out of touch with her constituents’ views after throwing her support behind a controversial wind farm proposal.

Ms Goodman said she was “firmly in favour” of plans for four 125 metre high turbines at Windy Bank, between Hamsterley and Woodland, despite local opposition.

She said a community fund, which it is claimed could be worth up to £1.75 million during the wind farm’s 25-year lifespan, would offer the area a chance to address a number of pressing local needs.

“Labour remains strongly supportive of using appropriately-located onshore wind farm developments and the Windy Bank wind farm would seem to offer a great deal to the local community alongside the green energy it would produce.

“The resources that the Windy Bank community benefits fund would make available locally could make a huge difference to the lives of many people.”

However, the Hamsterley and Upper Gaunless Action Group (HUGAG) said it was “saddened” by Ms Goodman’s support for the proposal.

A spokesman said: “We are very saddened she is so out of touch with the interests of her constituents.

“Every one of the relevant parish councils has voted against the wind farm – they are representing the desires of their people.

“This proposal is the wrong project in the wrong place. We are bemused. She is upsetting a lot of her constituents.” 

Don't miss Wednesday's Mercury for more reaction

- See more at: http://www.teesdalemercury.co.uk/Articles/2014/mp-out-of-touch-over-windy-bank#sthash.w3wmyb2K.dpuf


 


30 July 2014

Hello once again to all our faithful HUGAG supporters,


We had hoped that we might not have to contact you again, other than to thank you very warmly for your support and tell you that Banks Renewables had finally decided against the Windy Bank project.


It turns out, not entirely to our surprise, that this was a forlorn hope!


Far from withdrawing (which in our view is what they should have done), Banks have devoted recent months to revising the proposal, and they have just re-submitted it to Durham County Council.

One or two things are better, for instance that the most southerly turbine has been removed from the scheme and the previously proposed road, crossing the Linburn Beck and travelling over the most ecologically rich area of the site, has been abandoned.

Other things are worse, much worse: The height of the remaining four turbines has been dramatically increased, from 115 metres to 125 metres, and this means they would also have longer blades. They would thus be visible over a far wider area, and they would make more noise.

One profound shock in the new proposals is the change of access route – or routes, because two new routes are proposed. 

One would carry the hundreds of loads of roadstone, cement and other construction materials through the full length of Woodland village.  At its peak, this would mean an HGV travelling through Woodland every seven minutes, for eight and half hours per day, five and a half days a week.

The other route would be for the very large, escorted loads that would bring the  turbine parts to the site, and this would be through the village of Hamsterley.  There would be 10 deliveries per turbine (five parts of the tower, three blades, the generator, and the ‘nacelle’ or box at the top of the tower) and additional deliveries for the two large cranes that would hoist the turbines into place – in other words, well over 40 escorted, extra-long loads in all, and every vehicle that went in to the site would have to come out again, so doubling these numbers.

The proposed duration of the construction period is seven months, and it could be longer because that of course assumes viable weather conditions at all times.

Here at HUGAG we have a lot more work to do to assess the impact on local views, on the birds, bats and other wildlife of the site, on the noise implications for residents etc. This will take a while – but we wanted to alert you now to some of the most dramatic changes.

You can view most of the 116 new documents (as well as the previous 124!) online at http://spatial.durham.gov.uk/dcs/SearchMain.asp where you should enter the Planning Application number CMA/6/48 in the top box headed ‘Application Ref.’ and click ‘Search’. CMA/6/48 will then appear in blue, and when you click on this the full set of documents associated with the proposal will appear – but you will need to scroll well down the page to see them all. Also, be warned that some of largest files don’t work.

If, having had a look, you want to write to the case officer about this proposal, her name is Claire Teasdale and her email address is claire.teasdale@durham.gov.uk

Ideally, you should restrict your comments to valid planning issues, not simply whether you like or dislike wind farms. If you would be personally affected, though, there is no reason not to explain how that would be the case.

Meanwhile, please keep an eye on the local papers, the Teesdale Mercury and the Northern Echo,  for more information.

We would be especially grateful if you would kindly forward this message to any friends or neighbours who do not yet know about this project, and urge them to sign up as supporters at HUGAG@live.co.uk and please assure them that we do not, and never will, share your email addresses.

Thank you once again for your support to date. We have been battling this proposal for five years already and we are not going to stop now – but we do get enormous encouragement from knowing how many people are behind us!


With best wishes to you all,

Peter Shield (on behalf of HUGAG)

 

 


Planning application direct link

http://spatial.durham.gov.uk/dcs/DetailMain.asp?appid=2486&AppRef=CMA%2F6%2F48&Category=All&Status=All&Appeal=All&District=All&Month=All&Year=All

 

 

WIND FARM FIGHT RESTARTS
Wednesday July 23 2014

A fight to stop a wind farm being built is re-starting after a fresh application was made.

Banks Renewables has resubmitted new plans for the wind farm between Woodland and Hamsterley.

The number of turbines have been reduced from five to four, but their height will be increased from 115m to 125m.

The plans were put on hold while more wildlife surveys were done.  These have now been included with the revised application, which will now be decided by the county council.  Local protestors are fighting the proposal.

 

 


Wind turbines action group vows to fight on

THE reduction in the number of turbines on a proposed wind farm brings no comfort to the group that is opposing it.
Banks Renewables initially submitted plans to build a wind farm between Hamsterley and Woodland in 2011 but were put on hold as planners wanted additional surveys on wildlife.
The £12.4million project has been in the pipeline for four years.
It has since been announced that the number of wind turbines has been reduced from five to four, but their height will be increased by ten metres.
Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at The Banks Group, said: “Work on the detailed design of the proposed Windy Bank wind farm is continuing, and we will ensure all interested parties are fully informed of any updated proposals as and when they are finalised.”
Regardless of the changes, Hamsterley and Upper Gaunless Action Group (HUGAG) is strongly opposed to the proposal and says the changes raise “all sorts of new questions and concerns regarding landscape, ecology and residential amenity”.
Peter Shield, of HUGAG, said: “It’s been an incredibly long time that people have been living with this hanging over them.
“The announcement that one turbine is being removed gives us no comfort at all, especially as a further ten metres is apparently being added to the height of the remaining four.
“We still maintain the site is significantly constrained and inappropriate for this development.
“We are confident that eventually things will be resolved in our favour.”
Mr Dowdall, however, argued that the site had been independently identified as being suitable for wind development.
“We strongly believe that we have chosen a wholly appropriate location for the type of scheme we’re putting forward,” he said.
“As well as producing significant amounts of renewable energy, our scheme would also bring a wide range of other long-term benefits to the local area, from new jobs and contract opportunities for local firms, to a substantial community fund which would lead to tangible improvements to community facilities and deliver a new workplace learning and employability programme for local people.”

- See more at: http://www.teesdalemercury.co.uk/Articles/2014/wind-turbines-action-group-vows-to-fight-on#sthash.mQu3KrCz.dpuf

Wind turbines action group vows to fight on

THE reduction in the number of turbines on a proposed wind farm brings no comfort to the group that is opposing it.
Banks Renewables initially submitted plans to build a wind farm between Hamsterley and Woodland in 2011 but were put on hold as planners wanted additional surveys on wildlife.
The £12.4million project has been in the pipeline for four years.
It has since been announced that the number of wind turbines has been reduced from five to four, but their height will be increased by ten metres.
Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at The Banks Group, said: “Work on the detailed design of the proposed Windy Bank wind farm is continuing, and we will ensure all interested parties are fully informed of any updated proposals as and when they are finalised.”
Regardless of the changes, Hamsterley and Upper Gaunless Action Group (HUGAG) is strongly opposed to the proposal and says the changes raise “all sorts of new questions and concerns regarding landscape, ecology and residential amenity”.
Peter Shield, of HUGAG, said: “It’s been an incredibly long time that people have been living with this hanging over them.
“The announcement that one turbine is being removed gives us no comfort at all, especially as a further ten metres is apparently being added to the height of the remaining four.
“We still maintain the site is significantly constrained and inappropriate for this development.
“We are confident that eventually things will be resolved in our favour.”
Mr Dowdall, however, argued that the site had been independently identified as being suitable for wind development.
“We strongly believe that we have chosen a wholly appropriate location for the type of scheme we’re putting forward,” he said.
“As well as producing significant amounts of renewable energy, our scheme would also bring a wide range of other long-term benefits to the local area, from new jobs and contract opportunities for local firms, to a substantial community fund which would lead to tangible improvements to community facilities and deliver a new workplace learning and employability programme for local people.”

- See more at: http://www.teesdalemercury.co.uk/Articles/2014/wind-turbines-action-group-vows-to-fight-on#sthash.mQu3KrCz.dpuf

Wind turbines action group vows to fight on

THE reduction in the number of turbines on a proposed wind farm brings no comfort to the group that is opposing it.
Banks Renewables initially submitted plans to build a wind farm between Hamsterley and Woodland in 2011 but were put on hold as planners wanted additional surveys on wildlife.
The £12.4million project has been in the pipeline for four years.
It has since been announced that the number of wind turbines has been reduced from five to four, but their height will be increased by ten metres.
Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at The Banks Group, said: “Work on the detailed design of the proposed Windy Bank wind farm is continuing, and we will ensure all interested parties are fully informed of any updated proposals as and when they are finalised.”
Regardless of the changes, Hamsterley and Upper Gaunless Action Group (HUGAG) is strongly opposed to the proposal and says the changes raise “all sorts of new questions and concerns regarding landscape, ecology and residential amenity”.
Peter Shield, of HUGAG, said: “It’s been an incredibly long time that people have been living with this hanging over them.
“The announcement that one turbine is being removed gives us no comfort at all, especially as a further ten metres is apparently being added to the height of the remaining four.
“We still maintain the site is significantly constrained and inappropriate for this development.
“We are confident that eventually things will be resolved in our favour.”
Mr Dowdall, however, argued that the site had been independently identified as being suitable for wind development.
“We strongly believe that we have chosen a wholly appropriate location for the type of scheme we’re putting forward,” he said.
“As well as producing significant amounts of renewable energy, our scheme would also bring a wide range of other long-term benefits to the local area, from new jobs and contract opportunities for local firms, to a substantial community fund which would lead to tangible improvements to community facilities and deliver a new workplace learning and employability programme for local people.”

- See more at: http://www.teesdalemercury.co.uk/Articles/2014/wind-turbines-action-group-vows-to-fight-on#sthash.mQu3KrCz.dpuf


 

Teesdale off limits for new large-scale turbine projects, says authority

THE head of planning for County Durham says he cannot see any more large-scale wind turbine proposals being put forward in Teesdale.
Durham County Council's head of planning, Stuart Timmiss, says the value of the landscape and other factors put too many constraints for another major project to come forward.
It would mean that the gigantic turbines being proposed for Hamsterley would be the last major application in the dale, he said.
The only other wind turbines that could be built are smaller-scale agricultural ones.
Mr Timmiss said: “It really is just agricultural-scale turbines that we’re looking at now. It’s as clear as that for us. The landscape of Teesdale is so heavily constrained that there isn’t any possibility that I can see of any more large-scale applications.
“I can’t see any other opportunities for major turbines to come forward in this area.”
Constrains stopping developers putting forward large-scale plans in Teesdale include the impact on the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, terrain, ecology, impact on heritage, radar, effect on people’s homes and visual dominance.
Plans to build a wind farm between Hamsterley and Woodland have been on the table for four years.The £12.4million scheme to build five 115-metre turbines has been hit by delays and led to protests.
The applicant, Banks, has been asked to include more information in their planning documents on wildlife. And the scheme has not yet gone before Durham County Council’s planning committee.
Mr Timmiss said the time taken on the application demonstrates the difficulty developers face.
He said: “Banks were confident but there have been issues.”
However, a proposal to build five turbines at Punder Gill near the A66 is being lodged with the county council.
These would each be 47 metres high – way off the gigantic turbines planned at Hamsterley.
Mr Timmiss  said: “The county council has yet to receive a valid application for the proposed turbines at Punder Gill and cannot comment on individual applications. 
“As a general principle, when determining planning applications for wind turbines, the council will consider whether they are environmentally acceptable in themselves, before taking into account any un-related benefits that might be proposed.
“This will include having regard to their impacts on the landscape, on residential amenity in terms of noise, shadow flicker and visual intrusion, on ecological and cultural heritage assets, and practical considerations such as impacts on telecommunications and radar.” The plans for Ponder Gill are being opposed by nearby residents.

13/03/2014 - See more at: http://www.teesdalemercury.co.uk/Articles/2014/teesdale-off-limits-for-new-large-scale-turbine-projects-says-authority#sthash.ztAi17In.dpuf

Teesdale off limits for new large-scale turbine projects, says authority


THE head of planning for County Durham says he cannot see any more large-scale wind turbine proposals being put forward in Teesdale.
Durham County Council's head of planning, Stuart Timmiss, says the value of the landscape and other factors put too many constraints for another major project to come forward.
It would mean that the gigantic turbines being proposed for Hamsterley would be the last major application in the dale, he said.
The only other wind turbines that could be built are smaller-scale agricultural ones.
Mr Timmiss said: “It really is just agricultural-scale turbines that we’re looking at now. It’s as clear as that for us. The landscape of Teesdale is so heavily constrained that there isn’t any possibility that I can see of any more large-scale applications.
“I can’t see any other opportunities for major turbines to come forward in this area.”
Constrains stopping developers putting forward large-scale plans in Teesdale include the impact on the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, terrain, ecology, impact on heritage, radar, effect on people’s homes and visual dominance.
Plans to build a wind farm between Hamsterley and Woodland have been on the table for four years.The £12.4million scheme to build five 115-metre turbines has been hit by delays and led to protests.
The applicant, Banks, has been asked to include more information in their planning documents on wildlife. And the scheme has not yet gone before Durham County Council’s planning committee.
Mr Timmiss said the time taken on the application demonstrates the difficulty developers face.
He said: “Banks were confident but there have been issues.”
However, a proposal to build five turbines at Punder Gill near the A66 is being lodged with the county council.
These would each be 47 metres high – way off the gigantic turbines planned at Hamsterley.
Mr Timmiss  said: “The county council has yet to receive a valid application for the proposed turbines at Punder Gill and cannot comment on individual applications. 
“As a general principle, when determining planning applications for wind turbines, the council will consider whether they are environmentally acceptable in themselves, before taking into account any un-related benefits that might be proposed.
“This will include having regard to their impacts on the landscape, on residential amenity in terms of noise, shadow flicker and visual intrusion, on ecological and cultural heritage assets, and practical considerations such as impacts on telecommunications and radar.” The plans for Ponder Gill are being opposed by nearby residents.

13/03/2014 - See more at: http://www.teesdalemercury.co.uk/Articles/2014/teesdale-off-limits-for-new-large-scale-turbine-projects-says-authority#sthash.ztAi17In.dpuf



 

Windy Bank - last chance to give your views


18/06/2013

Hello to all HUGAG supporters,

We understand that Durham County Council has now formally accepted the Banks planning application for five 115-metre turbines at Windy Bank.  We believe that the application is likely to be considered at the Planning Committee meeting in September, and we know that the officers are currently assembling the necessary information for that meeting.

Banks have recently submitted new reports on birds, bats and archaeology, in response to the request from Durham County Council for more comprehensive survey work to be done.  For those who are interested, the new reports will be found from the following link:
http://gis.durham.gov.uk/website/dcs/DetailMain.asp?appid=2486&AppRef=CMA%2F6%2F48&Category=All&Status=All&Appeal=All&District=All&Month=All&Year=All and they will be found at the end of the list (approximately the last 30 documents).

Should the above link not work, please go to www.durham.gov.uk and search 'planning applications online.'  The Banks application is being handled by the Strategic Team and the application number is CMA/6/48.

In HUGAG's opinion the additional information on bats and birds only serves to confirm the importance of the site for wildlife, and as a result leads us to conclude that Windy Bank remains an entirely inappropriate location for the development of a commercial wind farm.

We are being asked by supporters 'Should we write letters again?'

We have been assured that, in fact, all letters already written will stand and will be taken into account - but, having said that, additional letters will do no harm.  You may feel, for example, that you want to reinforce your opposition or state that the new material has done nothing to change your mind, and if so, please do so.

This is your last chance to make such representations, and there will not be another at any later stage.  You should address your comments to the Strategic Team Officer in charge of this application, who is Grant Folley: grant.folley@durham.gov.uk and you should quote the application number CMA/6/48.

More importantly, perhaps, this is the moment to talk to neighbours and others who may share your views but who may not yet have joined the campaign to oppose this planning application.  We need as many supporters as possible because, although our determination to keep industrial-scale turbines out of Teesdale remains rock-solid and although we welcome the Government's recent announcement that the views of local communities will be given more weight, we nevertheless know that this is going to be one almighty battle.

With best wishes to you all, and with warm thanks for your support as ever,

 

Peter Shield on behalf of HUGAG

www.hugag.co.uk



 

 

 



Please tell us about living near wind turbines

Hello once again to all HUGAG supporters,

As we are sure you know, the County Council is currently undertaking a massive job of revising the County Durham Plan, to fit with the Government's recently announced National Planning Policy Framework, and to establish planning policy within the county for the coming years, ideally up to 2030.  The new County Plan will finally be published some time in 2014.

Meanwhile, the document is going through several consultation stages and the most recent of these, which focuses on the Local Plan Preferred Options, has just closed.  Under the heading of 'General Development Principles' the policies for 'Renewable and Low Carbon Energy' and 'Wind Turbines', as well as those for 'Natural and Historic Environment' are, naturally enough, of particular interest to HUGAG.

On behalf of HUGAG I have submitted Comments under these headings, and these will in due course appear on the County Durham Plan website pages, where along with all other comments they will be open to public view.

In some of the comments already uploaded onto these pages, we note the following statement made by Mr Justin Hancock of Banks Renewables in respect of wind turbines and the proposed setback distance from homes (the currently proposed policy specifies six times the height of the turbine):

"6x height would be anywhere between 600 metres and 800 metres. There are many examples of dwellings located within both of these distances which have been deemed to be acceptable by planning inspectors and/or residents. The implication of the policy would be that some Durham residents have been made to suffer an unacceptable amenity impact as a result of the planning decisions made by the local authority. This inference would be unfortunate and inaccurate. Indeed the Banks Group development offices were, until 2010, located within 600 metres of the nearest 100m turbine at West Durham Wind Farm. The turbine was neither oppressive nor noisy. There are houses located closer to the turbines."

The underlining above is ours.  HUGAG is fairly certain that a number of Durham residents have indeed suffered 'an unacceptable amenity impact' as a result of living near wind turbines, both in the Tow Law area and elsewhere in the county.  We know anecdotally of some who have moved house (not a solution that all can afford) and others who consider their new dependence on anti-depressants to have been caused by living within range of turbine noise.

We would therefore very much appreciate it if you would kindly let us know of any such cases, either experienced by you at first hand or that have affected people you know.

As you are aware, we undertake never to share any personal details - but if we had examples with which we could counter Mr Hancock's breezy assertions that could be very useful.

Incidentally, if you would like to study the relevant pages of the current County Durham Plan, you should start from:

http://durhamcc-consult.limehouse.co.uk

From there, scroll down to a blue link to 'Local Plan Preferred Options Report.'  This will take you a new page that explains that this area of the Plan is now closed for consultation.  If you scroll down this page to near the bottom, however, you will be able to click on a link to 'Read document and view comments.'

Click on this and, from the next page, you will find a set of links in the left-hand margin, where section 5 'General Development Principles' contains Mr Hancock's response, along with those of many others.  To read the comments you need to click on the 'View Comments' link at the end of each section.

Incidentally, it may be several days before all of HUGAG's comments are uploaded, as we gather that comments are very numerous and getting them onto the web pages is taking rather longer than anticipated.

With best wishes to you all,


Peter


Peter Shield on behalf of HUGAG
www.hugag@live.co.uk


Hello to all HUGAG supporters,

 sites/93/9370953584746bbdb2f94f81c08f881d/attachments/File/2012/WINDY_BANK_TVHC_BOARD_BRIEFING_rev2_20-10-12.pdf

On Tuesday evening a meeting of the Teesdale Village Halls Consortium took place in Mickleton at which the proposal attached above was discussed. 

 In brief, the invitation to the Consortium was that they could earn a sum of £200,000 in return for a £2 million investment in the proposal by Banks Renewables for a wind farm at Windy Bank between Woodland and Hamsterley Forest.  Engagement with this proposal was specifically made conditional on a letter of support for the wind farm scheme from the Consortium.

Government policy supports the concept of ‘Community Incentives’ for those communities prepared to shoulder the responsibility of accepting renewable energy projects – but we at HUGAG feel there is a very clear line between incentives and bribery, and that this proposal may overstep that line.

 We were nervous that the apparent promise of income for the TVHC might prove very attractive, especially as we are only too well aware that there are several Village Halls in Teesdale that are facing significant financial problems and, indeed, some that are threatened with actual closure.

In the event, however, the proposal was roundly and vocally opposed by all those Village Halls that had sent representatives, and the eventual vote against engaging with the scheme was unanimous.

 It was clear that those present objected in very strong terms to the obvious injustice of inviting Village Halls that might be very distant from Hamsterley and Woodland to support the Banks scheme.  It was also clear that no Village Hall representative present at the meeting was prepared to compromise his or her future ability to object to other wind farm proposals in other parts of Teesdale by supporting this one.

 We at HUGAG feel that this response, from Village Halls the length of the Dale – alongside the opposition already voiced by no fewer than eight local Parish Councils – sends a very strong message to Durham County Council and to Banks Renewables that this wind farm is not wanted.

 

With warm regards to all our supporters,

 

Peter and the team at HUGAG



 

 

Hello to all HUGAG supporters,
We encourage all HUGAG supporters to comment personally on the County Durham Plan

The County Durham Plan Consultation

Local Plan Preferred Options

 

The County Durham Plan will guide development and change in County Durham over the next 15 to 20 years. It is an ambitious Plan that focuses on driving economic growth and therefore makes important, and sometimes difficult, decisions and choices about how and where new development should be located.

 

The Preferred Options of the Plan includes new strategic policies and proposes specific allocations for new housing, jobs, shops and infrastructure across the County. The Plan aims to:

 

·         Create 30,000 jobs and increase the proportion of our workforce in work to 73% (from the current rate of 67%);

·         Focus development on the twelve main towns and improve the sustainability of all settlements;

·         Allow Durham City to fulfil its potential;

·         Ensure access to a range and choice of  housing, services and community facilities

·         Protect and enhance the natural, built and historic environment;

·         Deliver an accessible, integrated and sustainable transport system, and;

·         Increase tourism potential linking Coast to Durham City to Dales.

 

We are contacting you because you are on our consultation database, either because you are a statutory consultee or because you have previously expressed an interest in the County Durham Plan. This is the most important opportunity to contribute your views on the Plan.

 

The Preferred Options document is available to view at all local libraries and Customer Access Points across County Durham. The relevant supporting documents, such as Supplementary Planning Documents for strategic sites around Durham City and Chester-le-Street, will also be available.

 

You can download electronic copies of the documents and learn more about the County Durham Plan from our main website:

www.durham.gov.uk/cdp

 

Please look at the consultation website, leaflets and notices at local libraries and Council buildings, plus local press notices for further details on the Plan. There will also be exhibitions and public consultation events taking place across the County:

 

11 September

4pm - 8pm

Bishop Auckland Town Hall

14 September

4pm - 8pm

Stanley Lamplight Centre

18 September

4pm - 8pm

Durham City Town Hall

19 September

6pm - 9pm

Langley Park, Wood View Community Centre

21 September

4pm - 8pm

Meadowfield Leisure Centre

25 September

10am - 2pm

Newton Aycliffe Town Centre

27 September

2pm - 6pm

Seaham, East Lea Community Centre

28 September

4pm - 8pm

Sacriston, Fulforth Community Centre

2 October

4pm - 8pm

Middleton-in-Teesdale, UTASS

3 October

4pm - 8pm

Murton, Glebe Centre

4 October

4pm - 8pm

Coxhoe Leisure Centre

5 October

4pm - 8pm

Barnard Castle, The Hub

8 October

4pm - 8pm

Bearpark Community Centre

9 October

9am - 1pm

Crook, St. Catherine’s Community Centre

10 October

4pm - 8pm

Durham City, Framwellgate Moor Community Centre

10 October

4pm - 8pm

Stanhope, St. Thomas Church Hall

11 October

4pm - 8pm

Spennymoor Town Hall

15 October

4pm - 8pm

Sherburn, Laurel Avenue Community Centre (Gilesgate)

16 October

4pm - 8pm

Sedgefield, Ceddesfeld Hall

17 October

4pm - 8pm

Consett, St. Patrick's Church Hall

18 October

4pm - 8pm

Wolsingham Town Hall

18 October

4pm - 8pm

Shildon Civic Hall

22 October

4pm - 8pm

Easington Social Welfare Centre

23 October

4pm - 8pm

Ferryhill Literary Institute

27 October

10am - 1pm

Chester-le-Street, Methodist Church

 

You can send responses in a number of ways, but we would like to encourage you to submit your views online, via the County Durham Plan consultation pages at:

http://durhamcc-consult.limehouse.co.uk/portal/planning/

 

You can also send us your comments by e-mail to:

CDPconsultation@durham.gov.uk

 

Alternatively you can send us your comments to our special freepost address (all you need to do is write this one line on an envelope - no other address details are needed):

FREEPOST Spatial Policy

 

For enquiries and to request copies of the document, including in an alternative format such as large print, Braille, audio cassette or an alternative language, please call:

0300 026 0000

 

All comments and completed response forms should be received by:

Friday 2nd November 2012

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Stuart Timmiss

Head of Planning and Assets

 

Hello to all HUGAG supporters,

We have nothing new to report about the wind farm proposal at Windy Bank because, as you know, the project is on hold until Banks have completed more survey work on birds and bats. That work is in hand at present - and meanwhile we welcome, as usual, any reports of bird sightings from those of you who live very near the site or who pass that way regularly. You can email us here - but please remember to include details of the dates and times when you see birds, as well as numbers and an indication of what part of the site was concerned.

The main object of this message, though, is to let you know about CPRE's new campaign to try and protect important stretches of countryside from being spoilt by wind turbines.  

If you sympathise with the CPRE campaign and could possibly find time to write to your MP (locally Helen Goodman, of course) as they suggest, we would be very grateful.

With best wishes to you all,

Peter and the team at HUGAG

Click on the link below for more details




 

 


Hello to all our HUGAG supporters,


We're sorry we haven't been in touch for a while but we actually haven't had anything new to report. As you know, Banks have been told to do more survey work on birds and bats, and some of this work is already under way. This will involve at least a full season of study and data-gathering, so we don't expect any new developments in terms of the actual planning application for several months.

Some of you may have seen the recent articles in the Teesdale Mercury, notably one by Professor David Campbell exposing wind as an unviable solution to our energy problems, and a response by Phil Dyke of Banks Renewables. A letter from HUGAG was subsequently published in the paper also; for those who may not have seen it, you can read both articles further down on this page.

The letter from Natural England is now available in full and is the principal letter demanding the additional wildlife survey work to read this click the link below.

We wish you all a Happy Easter, 

Peter and all at HUGAG 


Natural England

 

 

Teesdale Mercury

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

HUGAG's Reply
Dear Sir,

Elizabeth Mann (7th March) writes that in evaluating any planning application the balance between benefits and drawbacks is critical.  The wind farm proposal at Windy Bank should therefore be weighed accordingly.  Mr Phil Dyke of Banks Renewables has set out what he considers the benefits of the scheme, while we in the Hamsterley & Upper Gaunless Action Group (HUGAG) remain very concerned about the drawbacks.

Mr Dyke claims that, in meeting the UK’s growing energy needs, renewables have a contribution to make – a stance with which HUGAG would by no means disagree.  But he then claims that the Windy Bank turbines would generate up to 12.5MW of power, saying this is ‘very significant from a local point of view.’   To be fair, he explains that this is in terms of national power generation rather than local.
In fact, when this proposal was first notified some residents imagined that local – and possibly even cheap – electricity would be provided by the scheme!  In reality, the electricity goes into the National Grid and, because it is more expensive due to the subsidies paid to the operators, it causes our bills to rise rather than fall.  The Government itself predicts an electricity price rise of 60% in the next few years to meet the cost of investment in renewables.

Mr Dyke also says 12.5MW of power would provide energy for 7,000 homes.  That might be true if such power were constantly available – but wind turbines only generate intermittently.   We would hardly consider it very acceptable to switch on a light or a cooker or a kettle, only to find that nothing happened, so another power source must be available as back-up, and this further reduces the cost-effectiveness of wind.  Also, repeatedly varying the demand on the back-up source reduces its efficiency too, just as exaggerated accelerating and braking makes a car consume more fuel.
Mr Dyke claims that local jobs would be created by the Windy Bank scheme.   Actually, although local contractors might be engaged to lay 4km of road across currently untouched farmland (regrettably building a bridge or causeway across the marshy valley of the Linburn) most of the highly technical work to erect turbines would not be open to local labour.  Banks themselves predict only one long-term job at Windy Bank.  They admit that no long-term jobs have been created at Tow Law.

Mr Dyke’s other promise is that community benefits would derive from the scheme.  One of his colleagues, however, admits that these funds are normally distributed via the County Durham Community Foundation, so the village nearest to Windy Bank, which is Woodland, would presumably have to compete against other proposals throughout the county for any share.  Moreover the sums typically offered by wind farm operators are but a tiny fraction of what they earn in subsidies.

In addition, Banks has recently been approaching Parish Councils, County Councillors and local organisations in the Woodland area, promising them help towards their own local projects if they agree to be named by Banks as beneficiaries of the Windy Bank scheme.  We leave it to others to take a view on whether offering such ‘incentives’ is appropriate.

Now we come to the drawbacks:  The damage that would be caused by building a road across wildlife-rich farmland has already been mentioned.  Because the land in question is rough pasture full of rushy areas surrounding a network of small streams, it may look unimportant in farming terms, but in fact it is exactly those qualities that make it valuable to a wide range of wading birds and other wildlife. 

The recent year of bird survey work conducted on behalf of Banks, and simultaneous surveying done independently by HUGAG, has revealed exceptional riches in terms of bird life at Windy Bank.  Over eighty-five bird species have been recorded there, including all five British owls, a remarkable range of other raptors, and large populations of several birds listed by the RSPB as nationally vulnerable.  These include Lapwing, Golden Plover and Curlew, not to mention game birds such as Snipe, Grey Partridge and Black Grouse.  In addition, night-time survey work has indicated Nightjars and several species of bat flying over the site from the Forest fringes for night-time foraging. 

What would be the effect of introducing turbines?  Banks’ own document admits that there would be losses due to bird and bat strike, and also displacement impact by forcing some populations of birds off the site – and dismisses these as apparently of little concern.  In HUGAG’s view, significant damage could be done and it would be too late to remediate it.

And not only wildlife would be affected, of course.  The proposed turbines, taller than any at Tow Law, would dominate Hamsterley Forest, the county’s principal outdoor leisure attraction; they would also compromise the very fine, wild views both to and from the neighbouring North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

It is increasingly recognised that many visitors to the countryside seek out unspoilt areas where they can enjoy beautiful landscapes and benefit from the restorative effect of temporary peace and quiet.  The North East scores more highly than any other area of England for tranquillity (see recent CPRE surveys) and this quality, which is visual as well as aural, is a marketable asset from which local businesses can benefit.  That does mean jobs – but not if we allow our peaceful areas to be spoilt by industrialising them with turbines.

Mr Dyke claims ‘a significant degree of support in the area’ for the Windy Bank project.  On the contrary, HUGAG is aware of a significant degree of local concern: nine Parish Councils have recommended refusal of the application; Natural England, the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE), Durham Wildlife Trust, Durham Bird Group and Durham Bat Group, not to mention Durham County Council’s own ecology officer and archaeology officer have all raised objections; the County Council’s landscape officer and the North Pennines AONB have still to comment, but we know they are concerned about the impact on as yet unimpeded views both to and from the ‘wildest AONB in England’.  Finally, at the last count there were also some 250 letters opposing the scheme, the great majority from local residents – and only one, from a person in Surrey, in support. 

For all the above reasons, we at HUGAG believe the Windy Bank proposal involves a great many drawbacks – and negligible benefits. 

Yours sincerely,


The Hamsterley & Upper Gaunless Action Group hugag@live.co.uk and www.hugag.co.uk 

 



Teesdale Mercury


Local climate change expert speaks out... against turbines

Feb 22, 2012

First there was Barningham, then Bolam. Now there is Hamsterley and Ponder Gill, near Barnard Castle. Wind farm proposals have dominated the local news in recent years, but one question remains unanwered – are they any good? For the first in two-part series, we speak toProf David Campbell, an expert in the field who also happens to live near the proposed Hamsterley site. 
 
 
IN light of the lively debate in this newspaper about the proposed construction of a wind farm in the Upper Gaunless Valley, I should like to say something about the national and international climate change policy that lies behind this proposal.
I live in the Gaunless Valley and, though the wind farm will not directly affect us, my wife and I object to the proposal on general environmental grounds. My objection is strengthened by work I have done in my professional capacity.
I am a legal academic specialising in the study of forms of regulation and, since 2006, I have studied climate change policy.
I have concluded that the attempt to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming has not merely failed and must continue to fail, but was bound to fail from the outset.
If this is right, then, of course, the UK’s incurring huge economic and environmental costs in pursuit of emissions reduction, including subsidy of wind power and permitting the environmental harm wind farms cause, is fruitless and irrational. 
The general public mistakenly believes that international climate change negotiations have failed to establish ‘legally binding commitments’ about global greenhouse gas emissions.
This is not so. These negotiations have indeed failed to reach a commitment to reduce those emissions. But they have reached a perfectly clear commitment to allow emissions to increase.
Climate change law is based on the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This Convention distinguishes between developed and developing countries and asks them to recognise a “common but differentiated” responsibility to reduce emissions.
The Convention imposed no concrete reductions commitments on either set of countries, though it was anticipated that the developed countries would later enter into such commitments. But, crucially, the Convention provided that “The extent to which developing country Parties will effectively implement … the Convention … will take fully into account that economic and social development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of the developing country Parties”.
As, given foreseeable technology, sizeable emissions reductions must involve immense economic costs, this provision effectively means that there can be no significant limits placed on the emissions of developing countries. All subsequent climate change agreements, including those reached at the major conferences held in Kyoto, Copenhagen and Cancun, have affirmed this position.
The 1997 Kyoto Protocol imposed some reductions targets on the developed countries. It set none on the developing countries. The Kyoto Protocol mechanism that was to involve the developing countries in emissions reduction, the Clean Development Mechanism, was designed in such a way as to make it incapable of delivering any global emissions reductions whatsoever.
Its operation so far has largely been an enormously costly exercise in scandalous waste and fraud and there is no chance of its being substantially improved. The 2009 conference in Copenhagen ended in acrimony and disappointment because the major developing countries would not agree to make emissions reductions and the 2010 Cancun conference fudged the issue.
As a legal matter, it is quite wrong to criticise the diplomacy of the major developing countries at these conferences. They were merely insisting upon what had been agreed in 1992, which is that they have no concrete responsibility to reduce emissions whatsoever. Their responsibility is so differentiated that it doesn’t actually exist.
If the provision prioritising their economic growth had not been included in the Framework Convention, the major developing countries would never have agreed to the Convention at all. For, over the last 30 years, those countries, most importantly China and India, have begun to lift themselves from the desperate poverty in which most of their people still live. Over a billion people in China and India still exist on less than US$2 per day. These countries have no intention of making emissions reductions which would cause them to sacrifice the tremendous achievements they are making in economic growth and poverty eradication.
But these achievements are disastrous for climate change policy because, with their  huge populations (40 per cent of world total), major contributions to global emissions (30 per cent), and rapid rates of economic growth (ten per cent per year), these countries are producing and will produce volumes of emissions that will breach any of the targets set to avoid global warming many times over.
Without major reductions by these countries, it is irrelevant what the developed countries, including the USA, do. 
The UK is responsible for two per cent of global emissions and typically has a two per cent growth rate. What it alone does can have no effect whatsoever. 
Either in denial or ignorance of this, the UK Government has set extraordinarily ambitious emissions reductions targets under the Climate Change Act 2008, and it is the national government which is most doggedly pursuing climate change policy. It is doing all it can to ensure environmental objections to wind farms and other energy systems of which it approves, including nuclear power, will be unavailing. Subsidy of wind power is but a part of the economic costs the Climate Change Act will impose. Incredibly, the cost of electricity in the UK is forecast to rise by almost 60 per cent by 2020 and, of the 2020 price, almost 40 per cent will be attributable to emissions reduction policies. The effect of this on the price of everything else, and so on UK living standards and international competitiveness, can easily be imagined.
The UK citizen should understand that sustaining these enormous environmental and economic costs will do nothing whatsoever to meet global emissions reductions targets. 
There are many reasons to object to wind farm proposals I have not mentioned. But surely the fact that any such proposal cannot yield any of the claimed environmental benefits is enough. The real issue is not whether proposals like the Upper Gaunless wind farm should go ahead. It is how so completely defective a national and international policy could have been followed over the last 20 years, and how our Government can persist with it when doing so is outright irrational.
l The academic paper on which this article is based may be obtained by writing to i.d.camp
bell@leeds.ac.uk. 

 

 

Hello again to all HUGAG supporters,

The recent announcement in the Teesdale Mercury (below) that Bolsterstone has confirmed withdrawal from the wind farm proposal at Crake Scar is welcome, especially if - as the article suggests - the main reasons for the decision were environmental. 

Some people may have thought, however, that this means the threat at Windy Bank has been removed altogether.  This is not the case. 

Bolsterstone's proposal was immediately adjacent to the one for which Banks has applied.  They produced a scoping report in October 2008 but the project never reached the formal application stage.

As for the Banks proposal, our information is that they continue to pursue their application most energetically, currently meeting with the various formal consultees who have objected in an attempt to change their minds.

As soon as we hear what they propose to do next, we shall of course let you know.

With best wishes from all at HUGAG

 

 
 


 Now is the time to establish an absolute, unbreakable rule for protecting the notably unspoilt countryside to the west of the A68.  That would preserve its tourism value, would establish a legacy to be proud of, and would be an asset to hand on to future generations.”




 

 


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