A proposed wind farm at Middlemoor, near North Charlton, has received the backing of planners at Northumberland County Council.
The application by Npower renewables for the 18 turbine wind farm will be decided by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry because of its scale.
A report to members of the planning and regulation committee said: “The development has the potential to make a significant contribution towards the production of energy from renewable resources.
“However, it is unavoidable that development on the scale proposed would give rise to local and wider landscape, visual and amenity impacts. Should the Secretary of State intend to grant planning permission for the development, he must be satisfied that the wider benefits arising through renewable energy generation outweigh any harm caused to those interests where significant and adverse impacts are anticipated.”
Planners, while voicing no objections, have called for the Secretary of State to attach weight to the study into landscape capacity that is due to be completed and published before the end of February when making the final decision.
There has been strong opposition to the proposal from local residents who say the 125m high turbines will ruin the landscape and deter tourists. They floated a symbolic balloon earlier this week ahead of a site visit by Alnwick District councillors to demonstrate the height of the turbines.
They also have concerns about a neighbouring proposal for a ten turbine wind farm at Wandylaw, near Eglingham, which is expected to be determined by Berwick Borough Council later this year.
Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership have called for the Middlemoor scheme to be rejected because of its potential impact on views.
However, npower renewables says the development is vital in an age of global warming and would provide electricity to 27,000 homes – enough for every home in Berwick and Alnwick districts.
08 February 2007
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