VILLAGERS are fighting plans to extend a wind farm closer to their homes.

Whirlwind Renewables is looking into building one extra turbine at the Haswell Moor wind farm, east of Durham City.

The Yorkshire-based firm says the extra turbine would generate enough electricity for 1,200 homes and prevent 2,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere every year.

However, some people in nearby Sherburn Hill say the proposed turbine would be too close to them.

David Bell, who has lived on George Street for 34 years, said: “It’s right in front of the houses. It’s far too close.

“The ones we’ve got at the moment are twice as far away, but at certain times it sounds as if there are helicopters flying overhead. The noise is tremendous.”

The 67-year-old said the “flicker” effect from the turbine blades is horrible and his wife has to take tablets to get to sleep.

“Before the turbines, people were fighting to live here,” he added.

Energy giant Eon completed construction of five turbines at Haswell Moor in October 2010.

A spokesman for Whirlwind Renewables said it was in the early stages of investigating the possibility of building one turbine.

Meetings were held last week with residents and Shadforth Parish Council.

The spokesman said the company took particular care to talk to residents at an early stage and the final site design would take account of a wide range of environmental and social factors.

Project manager Matthew Chapman said: “We are still at the early stages with our Sherburn project, which is being specifically designed to fit in with the existing Haswell Moor wind farm.

“There is growing awareness that we need to make changes now to reduce our reliance on imported fossil fuels and to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, but we will always work with local communities to ensure this is done in the most sensitive way.”

Last week, the Government announced new guidelines giving communities more powers to stop turbines being built, but also greater incentives to accept wind farms nearby.