MINISTERS must act to stop the North East becoming the “land of wind turbines”, a North MP has warned.
Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson said that it was time for the rest of the country to share the burden as well as the benefits of renewable energy.
Mr Wilson was speaking ahead of a Parliamentary debate he has secured today on controversial plans that could see England’s biggest wind farm built in his constituency.
The debate in Westminster Hall comes amid wider fears that Government proposals to overhaul the planning system could see even more turbines built.
Anti-wind farm campaigners in neighbouring Northumberland are also worried that the Government’s proposals to change the planning laws could see an avalanche of new applications.
Last night, a spokesman for the website Windbyte, which is based south of Berwick and monitors wind farm proposals in the North East said: “I would agree with him.
“It is not just what you see operating, it is the number of planning applications, there are huge numbers of turbine applications in Northumberland which have not been built yet but they will be when the companies get round to doing it.
“We are already exceeding future targets and we are exceeding 2020 targets in Northumberland and I believe Durham are almost on the 2020 target.”
Energy firm E.on has set out plans for between 25 and 45 turbines on a 7.5 square mile site called The Isles, east of Newton Aycliffe. If it wins approval, the scheme could generate enough electricity to power 53,000 homes a year.
Mr Wilson said: “In County Durham, there are already 16 wind farms with another that has been given planning consent but hasn’t been built yet.