Huge new wind turbine proposed for South Shields Middlefields depot face being rejected

Proposals for a huge wind turbine at a South Tyneside Council depot could be turned down next week.

Plans from the local authority include new renewable energy equipment being installed at the Middlefields Depot at Heddon Way, South Shields.

This includes a wind turbine with a three bladed design measuring 77 metres in height to the blade tip.

The application, which is part of the council’s drive to slash its carbon emissions, also requested a 25-year operational lifespan for the new wind turbine.

A new turbine is planned for Middlefields.

After assessing the scheme against planning policies, South Tyneside Council planning officers have recommended it for refusal.

Concerns include the proposed wind turbine “giving rise to significant adverse impacts to both visual and residential amenity nearby and to the east of the proposal.”

This includes impacts at and around Lord Nelson Street, with the harm “not considered to be capable of being overcome by mitigation.”

Planners noted there was historically a wind turbine at the Middlefields Depot, albeit in a different location and smaller in hub height, but this was removed more than two years ago with a new building constructed over the site.

Plans for a new wind turbine face being rejected.

Although council planners acknowledged the council’s carbon reduction commitments following its climate emergency declaration in 2019, they said this is “not in itself considered to be a sufficient reason that could outweigh the National Planning Policy Framework’s (NPPF) very clear and specific policy stance in relation to new wind turbines.”

This includes a “general presumption against new wind turbines, unless they can meet the very specific criteria that is set out.”

The planning report goes on to say: “Whilst it is acknowledged that the proposal would constitute a renewable form of energy production, this does not outweigh the fact it would not accord with aforementioned provisions of the NPPF in relation to new wind turbines, and; the aforementioned harm that it would give rise to contrary to Local Development Framework Policy DM1 (A & B).”

Council planning officers have recommended the plans for refusal but the final say rests with councillors on the Planning Committee.

A meeting to decide the application will take place on Monday, February 14, at South Shields Town Hall.

The meeting is scheduled to start at 10am and will be open to the public.

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