Lynemouth residents have been dismayed by a Planning Inspector’s decision to allow an appeal and grant planning permission for three wind turbines.
Two of the 110m to blade tip and 65m to hub structures will be constructed to the North of Lynemouth Power Station and close to the shore. The third wind turbine will be inland to the West of the other two and close to Woodhorn Road.
They were refused planning permission by Castle Morpeth Council’s Development Services Committee last year so Harworth Power, the renewable energy subsidiary of UK Coal, appealed the decision.
It was heard by Planning Inspector John Braithwaite at the Lynemouth Resource Centre last month and he disagreed with the Borough councillors’ view that they would have a detrimental visual impact on the village and a wider area.
In his report he said: “All matters have been taken into account but do not, either individually or collectively, outweigh the conclusion that the proposed development would not cause harm to any matter of acknowledged importance.”
There are conditions attached to the award which are designed to protect the visual amenity of the area and residents from noise disturbance and are in the interests of highway and air safety.
The turbines must be removed when they reach the end of their lifespan and then the site must be properly restored, but two of the people who spoke against them at the appeal were not happy with the decision.
Coun Cath Davison, Chairman of Lynemouth Parish Council and the CELL (Cresswell, Ellington, Lynemouth and Linton) local regeneration group said: “We tried our best to prevent t
he turbines being built but once again we have been underwritten.
“They are simply a cash cow for UK Coal and will bring no real benefit to Lynemouth.”
Castle Morpeth Council Mayor Milburn Douglas, who represents the Lynemouth and Ellington ward, said: “I would like to know if there will be any regeneration benefits to Lynemouth as a result of planning permission being awarded.
“We haven’t seen a thing from UK Coal on this so far.”
They both expressed concern that the turbines will harm efforts to change the image of the village, with plans ongoing to create new businesses and visitor attractions in the CELL area following the decline in the coal industry there.
A UK Coal spokesman said: “We are delighted that the merits of the scheme have been recognised by the appeal Inspector, who concluded that the development does not conflict with the development plan for the area.
By Andrew Coulson
1 March 2008
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