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Turbines could end area's Harry Potter role  

Big-budget film and television drama producers could call cut on north Northumberland if the Middlemoor wind farm goes ahead, an industry scout has warned.

Mally Chung, who has worked on productions including 55 Degrees North, Badger and Rocket Man, and most recently on the big-screen feature Atonement, says 18 turbines will ruin the chances of the Alnwick area being used as a backdrop, especially for period pieces.

The town and its surroundings have already been made world-famous, not least by the first two Harry Potter films, parts of which were shot at Alnwick Castle. Other major titles have included Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett, and the Kevin Costner smash Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

And legendary North East director Ridley Scott is also believed to be considering using north Northumberland for his upcoming Robin Hood remake, starring Russell Crowe as the Sheriff of Nottingham.

But a wind farm would blow such opportunies, says Mr Chung, a location manager based in Carlisle.

“The attraction to an area for filming, especially a period feature film, is an unspoilt landscape,” he said.

“Although there are methods in which items can be removed from a film, they are both time-consuming and costly.

“The effect of an array of turbines on the horizon would almost certainly discount it ever being used for filming a period piece.

“Should the proposed planning be accepted, I would have difficulty choosing this location to film and would recommend alternative parts of the country.

“Given that the proposed development has the potential to be seen from important landmarks and areas, such as Bamburgh Castle, Dunstanburgh, parts of Alnwick Estate and Holy Island, I believe it would be a visual travesty to filming, both factual and fictional.”

Mr Chung’s comments have been submitted to the inquiry, alongside similar concerns from Northumberland Estates at Alnwick Castle, the Alnwick Garden and other historic locations, which will be heard in coming days.

By Robert Brooks

Northumberland Gazette

17 November 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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