A decision on a controversial wind farm scheme in Northumberland could be delayed yet again, if a motion being tabled to planners tomorrow night is passed.
The plan for 10 turbines near the villages of Lowick and Ancroft has blown up into a two-year storm between objectors and the developer, Your Energy Ltd.
Activists from Moorsyde Action Group last month managed to delay a decision by mounting a legal challenge.
The application was due to be re-heard by Berwick Borough Council on January 30, where it is recommended for approval.
But that date is now in doubt, after Ford ward councillor David Lockie confirmed he will be asking members for all wind farm applications to be deferred until the outcome of a wind capacity study for Berwick Borough, by consultants Ove Arup, due at the end of February.
He said: “I feel that we should not be making a decision as major as this until we have all the facts. The motion is not to support any parties involved – it’s just such a huge decision, we must have as much information as possible.”
Coun Lockie will also ask the committee to agree that the report’s contents are discussed at the first opportunity as a separate item to any wind farm application.
But the council could be accused of blocking the application – which would leave it open to action from the applicants, who could seek costs for non-determination.
A council spokesman said: “In advance of any consideration of the motion, members will receive a report, in confidence, relating to legal advice regarding the position of the local planning authority, should the proposed motion be passed.”
Richard Mardon, managing director of Your Energy Ltd, said: “Berwick Borough Council commissioned its own consultants to do a landscape study, and found that site to be suitable.
“The site is in a preferred area for wind farm development, and the council was prepared to take the application to committee in December. We fully expect the application to be heard at the January 30 committee. We have already extended the consultation period three times, and this has been in the planning process for over two years. We need a decision urgently.”
Mr Mardon would not comment on whether Your Energy would claim non-determination if borough planners back Coun Lockie’s motion on Tuesday.
A spokesman for MAG said: “The developer seems desperate to get the application determined before Arup reports in February.”
By Chloe Griffiths, The Journal
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