November 22, 2007

Wind Farm Inquiry Day 6 — Morning

Windfam development would have “unacceptable landscape and visual impacts” – that is the view of a chartered member of The Landscape Institute.

Speaking at day six of the Middlemoor inquiry, on behalf on Alnwick District Council, Krystina Campbell expressed that, in her opinion, the Planning Inspectorate should refuse the appeal.

Miss Campbell, who in her evidence was covering the landscape and visual impact of the proposal on the study area, said: “The Development would have unacceptable landscape and visual impacts on the Charlton Ridge, adverse impacts on the North-east Coastal Plain, and a locally designated Area of High Landscape value.”

She also pointed to the ‘significant impact’ that the development would have on key iconic views including from Bamburgh Castle and Ros Castle and unacceptable impacts on areas such as Hulne Park Registered park.

Her evidence also considered the cumulative impact of Middlemoor and Wandylaw windfarms which has since been rejected by Berwick Borough Council.

She said: “These two proposals would substantially reduce the landscape quality and value of the Northumberland Sandstone hills and appear as one contiguous development that will change the landscape character of the Charlton Ridge, so that it would appear as a ‘windfarm landscape’.

But Marcus Trinick, advocate for npower, hit back. He said: “If you are looking at the cumulative impact of Middlemoor and not Wandylaw then you assume a baseline of nothing.

“You are taking the wrong approach to cumulative assessment by assuming that Middlemoor is there and adding Wandylaw to it.”

He also highlighted that the montages which were used in evidence showing artist impressions of the turbines did not give a full picture of the proposed windfarm as a hole when taken from a wider aspect.

He said: “If we were using sensitivity of people then that sensitivity would vary.”

Of one of the montages showing the view from Craster he said: “The road heading south west from Craster village is difficult to make a judgement from because of the trees, it is not visible.”

But Miss Campbell replied saying: “It gives an overall sensitivity. In this specific case the area is endorsed with sensitive receptors meaning people and iconic views.”

The cross examination continued this afternoon.

Northumberland Gazette

21 November 2007

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