Developers behind plans to build a wind farm in north Northumberland this week said they were “baffled” after the scheme was delayed for a third time.
The application for a ten-turbine development at Moorsyde, near Berwick, will not now be considered on Tuesday to enable Berwick Borough Council to carry out more work on the cumulative impact of the proposals.
Richard Mardon, managing director of developers Your Energy Ltd, said: “We are deeply disappointed and baffled by this further delay and are still trying to investigate the reasons behind it.
“Three consultants have already been hired by the council to review our project, at a cost to the council tax payer. Cumulative impact ““ which seems to be the latest spurious concern raised ““ has never applied to our project because ours was the first proposal in the area.
“During its excessively long time in the planning system subsequent projects have been submitted ““ these projects would need to evaluate this cumulative issue and we assume that they have done so.
“This latest delay really makes no sense at all.
“Our project has been in the planning system for over two years, but projects such as these should be determined within four months. We have already granted three time extensions and have been very patient ““ we hope we can work with the council to quickly resolve this issue.”
A planning committee meeting was convened in December to determine the application but before it started the chairman deferred the plans after legal representations from opponents Moorsyde Action Group (MAG).
A meeting on January 30 had originally been earmarked for the plans but it was then put back to February 6.
A motion to defer discussion until a report is published was also rejected by the council.
A spokesman for MAG said: “Although we are pleased that the borough has now revised its position and recognises the need for further information that will contribute towards a process of informed decision making, we remain concerned that local people will be subjected to further damaging and costly delays before this application is decided.
“We would urge the local authority to consider this application as soon as possible, taking full account of the imminent Arup Report and also the failure of the applicants to provide adequate environmental impact information as clearly required by planning guidance and as requested by both consultees and an independent audit of the application.”
A council spokesman said: “In light of the considerable focus and debate on this matter, the council considered it prudent to seek further general counsel opinion about the application.
“Counsel has advised us that further work needs to be carried out in relation to the issue of cumulative impact.”
No new determination date has been set.
05 February 2007
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