Plans to build a six turbine wind farm in the Cheviot hills have been dropped by developers.
Coronation Power has pulled the plug on its proposal for Moneylaws Hill, near Mindrum Station, because of its distance from a national grid connection.
The developers had also faced objections from the Ministry of Defence that the 125 metre high turbines would interfere with its primary radar at Brizlee wood, near Boulmer.
Coronation Power spokesman Paul Taylor said: “There are some technical issues which we can not address so we have decided it is not a viable site.”
It is the second occasion the site has been deemed unsuitable for wind farm technology –the first was 20 years ago.
Landowner Tom Neill of Thornington Farm said: “It is disappointing from my point of view that after carrying out an initial scoping study they’ve decided they can’t proceed because it’s 20km from a grid connection.
“Furthermore, planning consultants had told them that their chance of success would only have been 20-40%, even at appeal, so they have decided to pull out.”
Mr Neill admits he would still be open to new offers from wind farm developers but in the meantime is hoping there will be an end to the ear-bending he has come in for from angry neighbours over the past few months.
He said: “It’s been a difficult few months since the scheme was first announced but I’m hoping people will now start giving me an easier time of it because the majority seemed to be against it!”
The news was welcomed by Andrew Joicey who farms at New Etal and has been one of the most vociferous objectors to the proposal.
He said: “I did have grave concerns about Moneylaws Hill because it’s on the edge of the Cheviots and would have been highly visible from Coldstream and other parts of the Merse of Berwickshire.
” I know it’s not quite as populated an area as some of the other potential wind farm sites but it is only half a mile or so from Northumberland National Park and would certainly have stood out in the surrounding landscape.”
Mr Joicey, who is also a member of the Soul campaign group set up in opposition to the proposed wind farm at Barmoor, near Lowick, has issues with the frenzied wave of applications submitted in the last two years.
“It seems to me this is definitely a case of the wrong renewables in the wrong area,” he argued. “It’s developer led and driven because there is such a massive artificial incentive to get these wind farms up and running.
“They produce a serious amount of money for the developer – and I attach no blame at all on the part of any landowners who accepts their payment – but there is no serious amount of power produced at the end of it, only an enormous footprint on the landscape.”
Coronation Power had said the site, which is 2.6kms south-west of Branxton and 6km south of Coldstream, had a potential capacity for 18MW which could generate electricity for about 10,000 homes.
The loss of Moneylaws Hill reduces the total number of potential wind farm sites across north Northumberland to seven. Coronation Power has also pulled out of a proposed development at Coachyards Farm, east of Longhorsley but is still assessing a third site at Todburn East, west of Longhorsley.
08 February 2007