RESIDENTS of three rural villages in east Cleveland have joined forces to fight plans to install two wind turbines at the foot of the Cleveland Hills.

People from Kirkleatham, Yearby and Wilton have vowed to oppose onshore wind energy operator Airvolution’s scheme to install two 140 metre high turbines overlooking the villages.

Concern has been raised about the potential noise pollution and the impact on the landscape and heritage buildings all around the proposed site.

A spokesman for the trustees at Sir William Turner's almshouses in Kirkleatham village said: “The greatest impact will be on the local landscape.

"The turbines are surrounded by conservation areas, specially created by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council to protect the many historic buildings in the three villages.

“We are less than three-quarters of a mile from the turbines. We are also concerned that our elderly residents will become distressed by the flickering shadows of the turbine blades for several hours every sunny afternoon.”

The campaign has been backed by the owner of Yearby airstrip Barry Smith as the site will be inoperable if the turbines are installed.

The strip is regularly used by jockeys and trainers who are due to race at nearby Redcar Racecourse.

Mr Smith, who is an aerobatic display pilot, said: “These planned turbines are positioned in the actual circuit pattern and threaten the safe operation of the airstrip – not only from the massive physical barrier they impose but the turbulence they create is a significant hazard.”

The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) has also objected quoting several of Redcar and Cleveland's own policies that are intended to protect the environment.

Stuart White, local organiser of CPRE, wrote: “This application would impact on the setting of the communities of Kirkleatham, Wilton Yearby and New Marske.

"It will inflict damage on the landscape and, by virtue of its proximity to the A174 dual carriageway, impact on a major transport corridor. Therefore, if the borough council is to adhere to its own policies then it must refuse this application.”

The wind energy company held an open day for residents at Lazenby Village Hall in November to gauge local residents’ opinion.

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