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Windfarm inquiry calls

Controversial proposals to erect 20 wind turbines on a Northumberland beauty spot are set to be discussed at a public inquiry.

The applicant, AMEC Wind Energy, submitted the proposals to build turbines on a site at Ray Estate near Kirkwhelpington.

Northumberland County Council’s planning and regulation committee called for the public inquiry during a meeting last week, after hearing from those in favour of, and those against the proposal.

The site is located on land north west of Kirkwhelpington on an area stretching from the edge of Harwood Forest in the north to near Sweethope Loughs in the south.

Four would be located in the Alnwick district along with three possible sites for the control building, temporary storage area, and one of four minerals borrow pits.

Sixteen turbines and three further borrow pits would be located in the Tynedale district, including four close to
Great Wanney Crag.

Another spot of Northumberland countryside has been earmarked as a proposed location for the erection of a wind farm.

The applicant, the Banks Group, propose to build 22 wind turbines on a site west of Great Bavington and south of Kirkwhelpington about 20km north of Hexham.

Entitled the Steadings Wind Farm, it would cover an area of 742 hectares stretching from Sweethope Loughs but the area where the turbines would be sited is south of the A696.

Each turbine would be three bladed with a tower height of 80m and height to blade tip of 125m, and would generate between 2.3 and 3 megawatts.

The developers believe that the wind farm could produce the equivalent electricity to supply 29,000 to 37,000 households – almost a quarter of the county.

Northumberland County Council’s planning and development committee called for a public inquiry into the proposals.

By Helen Smithson

blyth-wansbecktoday.co.uk

11 May 2007