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Phil Wilson MP and local campaigners win battle against energy giants E.ON

After a six year battle, MP Phil Wilson and local campaigners celebrate as E.ON pulls plans for a controversial windfarm in Sedgefield constituency, County Durham.

The proposed windfarm scheme, known as The Isles, was fiercely opposed by Mr Wilson and local campaigners who believed the site would have a detrimental impact on the local area.

Originally comprised of 45 turbines the proposal was scaled back to 25 turbines in 2012. The windfarm would have spread across two sights close to the A1 in Sedgefield and Newton Aycliffe, with some of the turbines reaching 126.5 meters at the maximum tip.

On Thursday the 21st January E.ON confirmed it was withdrawing the proposed scheme saying the site had become “technically and economically unviable.”

Mr Wilson welcomed the “excellent news” but was careful to stress that he is not opposed to wind farms in general, and understands the need for renewable alternatives in energy.

"County Durham has a proud record for renewable energy, we've done our bit in allowing wind farm developments in the county and I thought this particular wind farm was just a step too far."

“I’m not against wind farm developments but the planning issue here is the cumulative impact of too many wind farms in one area. This was probably going to be one of the biggest onshore wind farms in England.”

Undeniably a wind farm as large as the proposed scheme would have a substantial impact on the area. Throughout the campaign, local members of the group The Isles Community Turbine Action Campaign raised a number of issues against the planning application including the potential for flooding, a serious concern following recent events across Cumbria and Yorkshire. Whilst the Ministry of Defence raised concerns that The Isles windfarm would interfere with its radar systems.

A spokesperson for E.ON told the Northern Echo: "During a detailed review of the project a number of long standing environmental and technical issues have been re-assessed."

"These include the long-standing objection from the Ministry of Defence, the high level of bird activity on the site, investor uncertainty and changes to Planning Law."

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