The founder of a group opposing wind turbine development in a Northumberland beauty spot has spoken of his frustration at the tactics of a development company.
Developers Wind Prospect have written to Tynedale Council to investigate the suitability of a site close to the church in Thockrington, a village north of Hexham, for two 1.5 megawatt wind turbines.
The firm is already one of three developers with planning applications for larger turbine developments in the area scheduled to go before a public inquiry later this year.
In the letter to the council the firm has asked whether an environmental impact assessment would need to be carried out – a preliminary measure that would go alongside a possible future planning application.
Peter Bennet, founder of the Friends of the Wanneys group which opposes the building of wind turbines in the area, said: “It does seem to be a bit of cat and mouse and that they are playing games. It is absolutely crazy and very frustrating.
“It is a site that they originally planned to build a wind farm on, but then they concentrated on the Green Rigg development instead, before coming back.” Mr Bennet warned the group would continue in their efforts to stop the developments taking place.
He said: “I think there are some special regulations for smaller developments but they still have to go through the planning process. We will continue in our efforts.”
John Wylam, vicar at the grade two star listed church, said: “I am not against wind turbines but let’s have them in the right place. The concern of many people is the impact they will have on the setting of the church.
“The church is silhouetted against the skyline and what we don’t want is for that skyline to be ruined by wind turbines.”
A spokesman for the council said: “A screening opinion asks whether the council would require an environmental impact assessment (EIA) with any planning application for such a development – and we have responded to say that should an application be made, we would need an EIA.”
Wind Prospect were unavailable for comment yesterday.
By Ben Guy
18 June 2007
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