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Wandylaw windfarm appeal on the cards

Another public enquiry is on the cards for Berwick Borough Council, this one into the decision to reject an application for Wandylaw windfarm.

In October last year, the council’s planning committee went against their officers’ recommendation and refused a planning application for a wind farm at Wandylaw from RidgeWind, who subsequently appealed, and a public inquiry will now take place, probably in September.

Councillors will be asked at a meeting tonight (Thursday), to agree to the allocation of £100,000 to cover the council’s costs of the inquiry.

As the committee went against the recommendation by officers to approve the plans, the council must engage specialist, external consultants to represent the council’s case for refusing the planning application.

A report prepared ahead of tonight’s meeting states: “External consultants will require guidance from council officers, access to a mass of files and other documents, and administrative support. It is envisaged that this will require a part-time clerical officer to co-ordinate the preparation work for the inquiry and ensure that the inquiry itself runs smoothly and efficiently.”

The application for 10 turbines at Wandylaw was rejected by eight votes to two at the meeting in October. Planners felt the development would have a “significant detrimental impact on the landscape character and visual amenity of this part of north Northumberland and on the setting of the Northumberlnad National Park, North Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Heritage Coast due to the scale and location of the proposed wind turbines.”

The cumulative effects of the windfarm at Wandylaw and that proposed at Middlemoor was also given as a reason for the rejection of the application, as was the negative effect on tourism, and the risk to low-flying aircraft due to radar interference. The Middlemoor application went to a 12-day public inquiry in November, and the inspector’s decision is pending.

Berwick Advertiser

23 April 2008