Residents from Aston Lodge set out their opposition to a plan for wind turbines on farmland near their estate at a public meeting on Monday evening.
The meeting at Little Stoke Cricket Club was called by local councillor Philip Jones and over 100 people turned up to voice their concerns.
You can see more details HERE of the planning application for two wind turbines at Stone Park Farm off Pingle Lane.
Addressing the meeting, Philip Jones said: “There’s a lot of anxiety and anger on the Aston Lodge estate about this planning application. There has been no engagement with local people by the applicant whatsoever, and the application is fundamentally flawed because of this, not to mention the issues of noise, visual effects and the impact on the site while they are constructed.”
Cllr Jones said the applicant – Hallmark Power from Leicestershire – had been invited to attend the meeting but was not available. In the planning application, Hallmark states that properties nearby “would not be significantly affected” by noise from the turbines and that most visual effects would be “minor”. Local residents at the meeting didn’t agree.
Here’s a selection of comments from members of the public at the meeting:
“There’s no mention in the planning application of the infrastructure needed to remove the electricity generated – will it be underground cables?”
“There’s been no assessment of infrasound (low-frequency sound), which may be a greater problem than audible noise.”
“We don’t want wind turbines in Stone. They’re ugly. You’d see them from all around.”
“The only access to the site is through Pingle Lane, over a railway bridge which is in a bad state of repair. Approximately 32 lorries filled with concrete and two cranes will have to pass over it. I’ve contacted Network Rail to find out the weight restriction. Also, children use Pingle Lane to walk to school.” [Another member of the public said that there is another point of access to the farm that could be used]
“It’s the sound you can’t hear that could interfere with nature. There are lots of bats and we’ve had two barn owls in our garden this week.”
“Has a formal complaint been made about the consultation with residents, which has been negligible? I got a letter as my property borders the farm. My neighbour, whose property doesn’t, didn’t get one.”
“The whole of Stone will be affected, not just the Aston Lodge estate. And this could be the thin end of the wedge – if one application is approved, there’ll be more put in from other farmers.”
Cllr Jones said that Stafford Borough Council had written to him to say regulations had been followed in the publication of the planning application – a site notice had been displayed and “adjoining householders” had received a letter. Residents from Aston Chase on the estate said they had delivered leaflets across the estate to let local people know about the application and the public meeting.
Cllr Jones also called on Stafford Borough Council to adopt a policy to guide decisions on the siting of wind turbines – something which is not currently in place. “I’m hopeful the leader of the council will do this,” he told the meeting.
Local resident John Ball will represent the objectors and address Stafford Borough Council’s planning committee when the turbine application comes before them (no date set yet). It was agreed to hold another meeting in three weeks’ time.
The public meeting attracted lots of comments on A Little Bit of Stone’s Facebook page – both for and against. Click HERE to have a look and join the debate, or you can leave a comment on this post below.
Lots of comments on Facebook…