November 29, 2007

Wind Farm Inquiry Day 11 — AM

Closing statements were given by the Ministry of Defence for their ‘strongest possible opposition’ to the proposal of the Middlemoor Wind Farm in North Charlton.

At the public inquiry this morning, the Ministry of Defence gave their closing statements as to why they oppose to the erection of an 18-turbine wind farm.

They said: “The Ministry of Defence expresses its strongest possible opposition to this proposal.

“The one and only basis of its opposition if that this proposal will have a serious adverse effect on the operation an effectiveness of the Air Defence Radar System of the United Kingdom through its effect upon the radar at Brizlee Wood.”

The Ministry of Defence also submitted a condition to the inquiry, that, should the wind farm proposal be approved by inspector Alan Novitzky, the ultimate decision on the erection of the wind farm should lie with the Air Officer of Battleship movement, who is described as the “person best capable of making the judgement as to the effect upon the efficacy on the air defence system caused by the proposed development”.

However, Marcus Trinnick opposed this condition stating that legally it is the Secretary of State for Business who makes this ultimate decision, and power cannot be delegate to another person. He added that the Secretary of State could consult the MOD making his decision.

Speaking on behalf of the MOD Mr Cotterill referred to a previous case in the 1979 Journal of Planning Law, when stating that if the Secretary of State did consult with the MOD, and this consultation was over-ridden the result would be unacceptable as it would not give due weight to the national security implications that would follow as a result of the consultation.

And if the Secretary of State was to object to the development on the basis of the consultation this would also be unacceptable because the decision would be delegating decision making to somebody else.

By Helen Woods

Northumberland Gazette

29 November 2007

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