A PLAN to erect eight wind turbines near Sedgefield was unveiled this week.

Each would have a maximum height of 110m to the tip of the blade and would stand on land to the east of Sedgefield and Fishburn and south-east of Trimdon.

The scheme has been put forward by Wind Prospect, a wind energy development company, and has the support, in principle, of Sedgefield Town Council.

However, on Wednesday, town clerk Lesley Swinbank, told the D&S Times that there was concern about the establishment and management of a local trust fund which would be set up by Wind Prospect.

The wind farm is expected to have a lifespan of at least 25 years and the fund would be created from a percentage of its annual revenue.

The company believes the fund would total at least £16,000 a year which would be spent on local environmental projects approved by the trust.

Wind Prospect has indicated that a community group in Trimdon could be paid £4,000-a-year to manage the fund.

But Mrs Swinbank said Sedgefield Town Council would manage the trust for nothing - allowing the £4,000 management fee to be ploughed back into the fund itself.

Councillors were perplexed as to why a group in Trimdon should manage a scheme which was wholly within the Sedgefield town boundary.

The wind farm would, on average, produce enough electricity to supply the annual needs of 9,500 homes, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 40,000 tonnes a year.

Wind Prospect development engineer Tim Matthews said they had commissioned a series of independent environmental assessments over the past two years. Other studies such as background noise were continuing.

"To date the findings have been favourable," he said.

A planning application would go to Sedgefield Borough Council in October.

Wind Prospect will hold a series of exhibitions next week. They are next to the Co-op store in Fishburn on Tuesday; Sedgefield Parish Hall on Wednesday; and Trimdon House, Trimdon Village, on Thursday. Each runs from 2-8pm