May 30, 2008

Wind farm planned near landscaping legend’s home

A wind-farm is being lined up next to the birthplace and childhood home of Britain’s most famous landscape architect.
Eight turbines – each up to 125m high – are being proposed near Kirkharle, about 12 miles south of Rothbury, which was the 18th century home of Capability Brown, recognised as “England’s greatest gardener”.

Located on open farmland, developer npower renewables is now consulting on the plans, and has developed an on-line questionnaire and telephone information line to capture public opinion.

An information leaflet is also being sent to just over 1,600 homes within ten kilometres of the site, which explains more about the proposals and includes computer generated images of how the wind farm could look.

Npower predicts that the clean energy generated by a wind farm of this size would meet the needs of between 7,800 and 11,600 average households every year2.

Project developer Richard Best said: “We have been undertaking environmental studies at the proposed Kirkharle site for some time, in order to confirm the appropriateness of the location for a wind farm.

“The studies include landscape and visual effects, nature conservation designations, archaeological and cultural assessments of the site.

“The findings of these studies will be presented in the Environmental Statement document, which will be submitted along with the planning application for the wind farm.”

He added: “People will be aware that there are a number of other proposals to develop wind farms locally, and three of these are subject to a public inquiry.

“Our proposal does not form part of the inquiry, and we plan to submit a planning application to Tynedale Council later in 2008.”

During his life, from 1716 to 1783, Brown – whose first name was actually Lancelot – designed over 170 parks.

He was viewed as a master in his own lifetime, and his legacy can still be seen across Britain, including Alnwick Castle and Hulne Park, which he landscaped.

Others of note include Blenheim Palace, Hampton Court Palace, Kew Gardens, Longleat in Wiltshire, Syon House, Warwick Castle and Wimbledon Park.

To find out more about the wind farm proposals on npower’s website, click here.

The information line can be reached on 0845 4594069.

By Robert Brooks

Northumberland Gazette

30 May 2008

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