Seven proposed large wind turbines would be ‘overwhelming’ for coastal villages already facing nine of the structures, a planning inquiry heard.
Residents and councillors in the Cresswell, Ellington, Lynemouth and Linton (CELL) region are also concerned that ScottishPower’s application for the 121m to blade tip structures on land adjacent to the Alcan smelter at Lynemouth would adversely effect the landscape and regeneration efforts.
An inquiry was held at the Lynemouth Resource Centre after Castle Morpeth Council’s Development Services Committee rejected the bid last year.
The location is in an area of least constraint for wind turbine developments but the Council believes that they are too close to homes and public places to be allowed, with the nearest structure less than 1km away in some places.
Planning Services Manager Hugh Edmundson said: “The proximity of these turbines to residents means they would have an overwhelming visual impact on the settlements.”
He also said as they were part of a 13 turbine application, with the other six turbines given approval by Wansbeck District Council because the energy group’s application straddles district boundaries, if granted the whole windfarm would stretch across a huge area.
The structures would add to three turbines at Bewick Drift at the former Ellington Colliery, 110m to blade tip, which were given planning permission following an inquiry earlier this year.
And Coun Arnold Baker, Borough councillor for Lynemouth and Ellington, said: “We already have the three windmills at Bewick Drift and with the six accepted by Wansbeck Council as well, surely that’s enough for any community to accept and so allowing these additional windmills would be a step too far?”
But James Welch, of EDAW which prepared a landscape survey of the area for ScottishPower, argued that while the visual impact was significant it was not adverse or overwhelming.
By Andrew Coulson
26 April 2008
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