Tom Blenkinsop, Member of Parliament for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, has today (21st August) criticised the Conservative aristocrat and former member of the House of Lords, Thomas Richard John Long Chaloner, the 3rd Baron Gisborough, over his “behind closed doors” agreement to potentially build 410ft wind turbines off Wilton Lane, near Mount Pleasant and Guisborough.
“Since the Evening Gazette reported proposals of these wind turbines last week, my office has already received correspondence from many concerned residents in Guisborough and the surrounding area.
“Upon receiving these letters, I began to make inquiries with the Land Registry to ascertain the status of the land on which these wind turbines are being proposed to be built. Through this process, I have discovered that a Conservative former member of the House of Lords and landowner, the Rt. Hon. Lord Gisborough, has entered into an agreement on 16th December 2011 with Banks Renewables for them to have the option to develop this giant wind farm.
“It seems fundamentally wrong that a local aristocrat, whose Estate was inherited from his feudal ancestors, is allowing the possible construction of this massive wind farm, whilst it is people in Mount Pleasant and North Guisborough who may ultimately be forced to live in its shadow. Whilst his ancestors may have been Lords of the Manor, I feel that in the 21st century, local residents ought to be treated with more respect than medieval serfs.
“I know that local Conservative councillors have publicly stressed their opposition to this scheme. Perhaps they could raise their concerns with their colleague Lord Gisborough at their next local Conservative Association meeting, and urge him–for the sake of the people of Guisborough and Mount Pleasant–to u-turn on the deal he has struck with Banks Renewables?”
Joe Keenan, Guisborough ward Borough councillor, added:
“This is not the first time Lord Gisborough has put profit before the community’s interests, having sold off land for housing development that had been used for allotments in the town. I objected strongly to that proposal at planning, and made representations. He should learn his lesson, and consult the community before signing agreements with developers.”