A delay-hit bid to build 10 wind turbines in Northumberland is back on track, after further wrangling between developers, council chiefs and protesters.
Your Energy Ltd’s ambitions for the Moorsyde site, near Berwick, had been recommended for approval in December, but was halted amid threats of legal action by local protesters from the Moorsyde Action Group (MAG).
It was then scheduled to be heard in January, but stalled again amid calls for a deferral of all windfarm applications in the borough until the publication of a key report.
That plea was rejected, only for the council to then put the plan on hold once more two weeks ago, saying members did need more information to base their final decision on.
Since then, senior officers at Berwick Borough Council have been in discussions with Your Energy over the application, which both parties are eager to conclude.
And a hearing has now been pencilled in for the planning committee on April 10.
But MAG member Don Brownlow, of Grievestead near Lowick, said: “There are still major aspects of this application which have yet to be addressed. Information is still lacking on hydrology and geology, the impact on the grid and noise.”
However, Your Energy managing director, Richard Mardon, is confident the turbines will be approved. “We’re pleased that the application will be considered by the committee on April 10, and I’m confident all the necessary studies will have been completed by then We’ve been very patient with the planning process, which has gone on for two years, and we believe all the relevant information is available.
“All we want to do now is get the turbines built, so we can benefit the environment and combat global warming.”
One other potential sticking point is a forthcoming Arup report, which deals with cumulative impact of multiple wind-farm developments in the area. Borough solicitor Liam Henry said the report would be taken into consideration, if published in time.
Berwick Borough believes it will not be specific enough, and is considering commissioning its own study.
By Robert Brooks
26 February 2007
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