Force 9 Energy in conjunction with Catamount Energy Ltd applied for permission to build a wind farm at Barmoor in 2006.
The scheme, for land between Ford and Lowick, was originally for nine turbines but was reduced to six in October last year.
The borough council received 440 letters of objection for the site, plus 512 standard objection slips and a “substantial” objection from campaign group Soul (Save Our Unspolit Landscape).
Ford and Etal Estate also objected because of concerns regarding the potential impact the turbines would have on the historic environment and specific heritage sites including Ford Moss Colliery and Flodden battlefield.
Letters of support totalled 105 with eight standard support slips.
Objectors said the turbines would be visually intrusive, dominant and detract from the unspoilt countryside.
However supporters said the turbines would look wonderful in the landscape and it was an opportunity to produce safe, clean energy.
Peter Worlock, chairman of Soul, said that 1,600 residents who live within 3km of the site would be grossly affected by the plans.
He also criticised the officers’ report.
John Lodge, a former director of planning at Northumberland County Council and regular visitor to Barmoor, said: “The proposal is harmful to the landscape, is detrimental to the council’s tourism policy as significant tourist routes pass the site and will impact on recreational, wildlife and historical features in the area.”
Ian Jackson, chairman of Bowsden Parish Council, said the majority of people in the parish were against the plans.
But David Sanders, chairman of BREWS, Barmoor wind farm supporters’ group, said: “Wind turbines are tall, elegant, majestic structures which give many of us a really good feeling that we are using a natural resource to provide for population needs whilst reducing carbon emissions.”
He added: “Barmoor is the right place, the proposal is appropriate and now is the time. Please approve the Barmoor application.”
David Butterworth, managing director of Force 9, development partner with Catamount Energy, said the proposals were an “effective and essential way of combatting climate change”.
He said: “In planning terms, there are no reasons to turn this down and every reason to approve it.”
Officers had recommended the application be approved because, like Moorsyde, the site was located within the south and west of Berwick “wind resource area” as identified in the Northumberland and National Park Joint Structure Plan and in the emerging Regional Spatial Strategy.
And they said it said it had the potential to make a significant contribution to the region’s targets for renewable energy production and said it would not give rise to any unacceptable adverse impacts on residential amenity.
By Jaclyn Curry
28 March 2008
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