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Windfarm bid could close Tynedale airfield  

Wind turbines could go up on the doorstep of an airfield and close to houses and businesses in Tynedale.

Irish-based Pure Renewable Energy is investigating a number of sites near Stocksfield and Hedley-on-the-Hill which would be suitable for windfarms.

Land adjacent to Northumberland Gliding Club’s 88-acre base at Currock Hill, near Hedley, has been earmarked.

A site near Stocksfield Golf Club has also been earmarked. Other possible sites include land south of New Ridley Road, at Stocksfield.

The gliding club, which provides flying lessons to thousands of people each year, has revealed it would have to close if the 100ft high turbines are built.

A spokesman for the club said: “Any such development would result in the club ceasing to operate. A valuable sporting resource for the North-East of England would be lost.

The spokesman added, however, that the club recognised the need for renewable energy and indicated it may be willing to relocate, providing a replacement airfield site with suitable facilities could be provided.

No formal proposals have been put forward, but Pure Renewable Energy has started consultations with local communities.

The suggested locations have been described as “crazy” by the chairman of Hedley-on-the Hill Parish Council.

Coun. Dr. Richard Penny said: “The whole thing is bizarre. They are proposing to put 100 metre high turbines alongside the gliding club runway.

“Another is alongside the eighth green at Stocksfield Golf Club. In my opinion, the proposed sites are totally crazy. They are near businesses and houses.”

Parish councils in the area have until early January to submit their responses, and Coun. Penny says the Hedley response “will not be positive.”

Prudhoe Town Council offered a more favourable view of the proposals at its meeting last week, although members raised concerns over the close proximity of turbines to the gliding club.

Coun. Jennifer McGee said: “I support windfarms. I have no problems with them whatsoever.

“The ones next to the gliding club are a no-no. They would interfere with the gliders.”

Pure Renewable Energy managing director Alan Irvine would not comment on individual sites, or the number of turbines which would go up.

However, he said the consultation process would be thorough, and if it yields a successful response, a planning application could be submitted by the end of January.

Mr Irvine said any windfarm project would have to be commercially viable.

“We are in the information gathering stage at the moment. We are investigating.

“We are speaking to local councils, as well as aviation bodies, the RSPB, Newcastle Airport and everybody concerned.

By Joseph Tulip

Hexham Courant

28 December 2007

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

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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