The local tourism board for Northumberland has come out strongly against windfarm development which could impact on Northumberland as a top holiday destination and has called for an urgent independent study.
The plea from Northumberland Tourism comes in the wake of a rush of renewable energy applications across the county. There are currently eight ‘live’ applications with another 17 in the pipeline ““ totalling nearly 300 turbines.
Campaigners said that plans for 24 turbines near Haltwhistle would be seen from the World Heritage Site of Hadrian’s Wall
“Most people come here because of the wonderful natural environment and this is in danger of being blighted by so many windfarms,” said Northumberland Tourism Chairman Mike Parker.
Recent research by VisitScotland revealed that 38% of visitors said that windfarms “spoiled the scenery” and 26% said they would be less likely to visit an area if wind farms were developed. Tourism businesses said they must not be near areas of historic value, tourist spots, view points, wildlife areas and places of natural beauty.
“These are alarming findings,” said Mike Parker. “They show the potential damage they could cause. We want more visitors to come here ““ not less. We need the impact on tourism to be an integral part of the planning process.”
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