A power giant has scaled down its plans for a major wind farm in Northumberland in an attempt to tackle local opposition and secure the green light from council chiefs.
ScottishPower withdrew its bid to erect 16 massive turbines on land near the Alcan aluminium smelter at Lynemouth earlier this year – after the proposals failed to win the backing of people in four neighbouring communities.
Now the company has lodged a revised application – reducing the number of turbines to 13 – and plans a fresh bid to garner support from the nearby villages of Lynemouth, Linton, Ellington and Cresswell.
ScottishPower has submitted separate applications to Castle Morpeth Borough Council and Wansbeck District Council, after taking groups of councillors and local residents on fact-finding visits to its large wind farm at Black Law in South Lanarkshire.
The 13 turbines would each be 120m-high from base to rotor blade tip and tower over an area which is looking for regeneration following the closure of Ellington Colliery and its nearby Lynemouth coal preparation plant. Lynemouth Parish Council has already lodged a formal objection to a separate bid by UK Coal for three wind turbines on land next to the village.
Yesterday parish chairman Cath Davidson said she did not believe the changes made by ScottishPower to its application would persuade local residents to support it.
“We have not seen the full application yet, but unless there have been radical changes I believe there will continue to be opposition. I have been told that the three turbines closest to Linton have now been removed, but people in Ellington have also objected to the proximity to their homes.
“Wind turbines won’t bring any employment and this wind farm will be like an industrial site without the benefit of jobs. We believe the whole thing is going to be too close to where people live.”
Milburn Douglas, who represents Lynemouth on Castle Morpeth Council, admitted that a majority of local people were opposed to wind turbines, but said it was important to find out what community benefits might be available.
A borough council spokesman confirmed that a new application from ScottishPower was received this week.
No-one from ScottishPower was available for comment.
By Dave Black, The Journal
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