FIRE chiefs have been told they can’t put a 21-metre high wind turbine on the site of their new fire station at Rayleigh Weir.

Plans for the turbine were rejected by Castle Point Council’s planning committee on the grounds its height and noise would disturb local residents.

Yesterday, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service indicated they would appeal against the decision.

Property Services Manager for the fire service, Jon Doherty, said: “The fire authority is determined to make our buildings as environmentally friendly as possible. Initiatives like this turbine are an important part of that.”

Speaking at the planning meeting, council officer Kim Fisher said the council would be unlikely to win the case if the fire service decided to appeal.

It is calculated the turbine, which was not part of the original plans for the fire station, at the junction of Rayleigh Road and Stadium Way, will reduce 3.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year and provide up to 25 per cent of the station’s electricity. It would have a special design, which is quieter than the rotary blades usually associated with wind turbines.

Seven householders objected to the plans for the tower, which would be close to the site’s boundary with the new Essex Ford dealership.

Planning committee chairman Bill Dick said: “Due to the height and impact on surrounding residents’ properties, the turbine is not conducive to the street scene.”

But councillor Norman Smith, cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, did not rule out the turbine completely.

He said: “I feel the positioning of it is totally wrong.

“As a council we want to be seen to be green and doing the right thing with regards to our carbon footprint.

“I would suggest we go back to the fire authority and say we would be minded to approve it if it was moved.”

Approval was given for a new hose laying store at the fire station.