The fight against wind turbine proposals has been accelerating since November 2005 when details of a planning proposal by a wind power development company were made public.
The Save Our Unspoilt Landscape (SOUL) action group is in complete agreement; they are all for changes for the good.
But when those changes mean their workplaces and recreation areas are threatened by being covered in 110-metre wind turbines, it’s time, they say, to take a stand against “progress”.
“It’s poor value if it comes at the expense to people’s lives,” says Andrew Joicey, the Northumberland farmer who admits that the issue of windfarms “is in danger of taking over my life”.
Others in the group feel the same way. They are concerned for the local economy which is heavily dependent on visitors; they worry about the visual impact of 26 wind turbines divided into three areas of valuable countryside; they are anxious about the area’s archaeology and its built heritage; they are disturbed about the effect on land-based industries such as agriculture, pubs, leisure parks and B&Bs.
John Ferguson and his wife Ann will stare at wind turbines every time they look out of their kitchen window at Cold Harbour, near Bowsden, if planned proposals are granted. White “monsters” are planned to march from Moorsyde towards the north of their property to pick up with those at Barmoor under a mile away.
John says: “There is nothing to break the view of them standing in a line across the top of the ridge. It’s people’s lives, their recreation and the local economy at stake.
“Anyway, there is no such place as Moorsyde, it’s a name made up by the developers to make it look as though it’s uninhabitable. The turbines will be seen from Holy Island and they’ll only provide 1% of generating capacity. It’s variable power being put into a good system; it’ll be a nightmare. There is a lot of value in peace and quiet.”
Fellow SOUL member Peter Worlock believes the windfarm proposals will change this small area between the Tweed, the coast and the Cheviots for ever.
“It’s rolling countryside between the Northumberland National Park and a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
“Some people will be getting money from the wind turbines but what about the other people who live close by who don’t have that financial advantage? We’ve asked the question twice, ‘Are you paying all the others?’ and we’ve heard nothing.”
By Jane Hall
14 July 2007
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