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Peer wins fight to build wind turbine at tourist site  

A peer from the North has won a bid to put a wind turbine on his land after overturning a decision by planners.

Lord Redesdale, who owns land around Rochester in Northumberland, wanted to put a 10-metre turbine at his Brigantium tourist centre near the side of the A68.

The unconventional peer, who is energy spokesman for the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, wanted to mount the turbine to teach people about renewable energy.

Northumberland National Park refused his application, but Lord Redesdale appealed against the decision and has won permission to put up his turbine.

The 6kw turbine, which will produce enough electricity to power Brigantium’s visitor centre and café, is also intended to educate its 3,000 annual visitors about renewable energy.

Northumberland National Park had rejected the development, saying it made a prominent and substantial impact on the rolling open countryside around Rochester.

A park spokesman said last night: “The authority members have to be concerned with anything that spoils people’s enjoyment of the landscape, and in this instance they felt this development would.

“As we’re entering a time when renewable energy is becoming more of an issue, we have to put these things out for public discussion. At the moment we’re finding new precedents all the time.

“This isn’t a mega wind farm, but nor is a domestic one that nobody would see. It’s one that would stand out and that was the dilemma.”

Meanwhile, Environment Secretary David Miliband yesterday hit out at people who fight against the erection of wind turbines.

Speaking at the Association of North-East Councils’ manifesto launch, he said: “Anyone who says they believe in renewable energy, but not about windfarms, needs to be exposed for their hypocrisy.”

Lord Redesdale was unavailable for comment last night.


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