THE developer behind plans for a County Durham wind farm says the proposal was scaled down in response to public feedback.

Banks Renewables applied to Durham County Council last month for planning permission to construct Windy Bank wind farm, near Hamsterley Forest, which would comprise four 125m turbines.

The original proposal sought to build five 115m turbines at the site.

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If the plans were given the go-ahead, Banks estimates around 30 jobs would be created during the site preparation and construction phases and local firms would have the opportunity to tender for contracts worth up to £3.5m.

Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, said that wind farms like the Windy Bank proposal would play a crucial role in generating clean, green energy to be used in homes, schools and businesses.

He added: "The updated Windy Bank Wind Farm design proposal, which includes the removal of one of the original five turbines and a 10m increase in the tip height of the remaining four turbines to 125m, responds to comments we have received during our local consultation work in the area and substantially reduces the development's environmental footprint.

"Our long-standing policy is to support the local communities that host our developments, and in line with this, the revised scheme also includes an increased community benefits fund that would be worth up to £1.75m over the lifespan of the wind farm.”

He also said Banks were looking into access to apprenticeships and skills training.

The Hamsterley and Upper Gaunless Action Group (HUGAG) is campaigning against the plans.