A wind farm developer refused permission to erect turbines in Northumberland has lodged an appeal.
Catamount Energy has challenged the decision of Berwick Borough Council’s planning committee in March to reject its proposal to put up six turbines at Barmoor, between Ford and Lowick.
The application had been amended from an original nine turbines and recommended for approval.
But councillors felt the wind farm would have an unacceptable impact on the Northumberland landscape which could not be mitigated and voted 8-1 against.
The developer announced its intention to appeal immediately after the decision was made, and the formal lodging of an appeal means a public inquiry will take place.
Catamount’s application was thrown out at the same time as two other schemes, for seven turbines at Moorsyde and seven at Toft Hill.
Npower renewables, the company behind the Toft Hill application, is to appeal although it has yet to lodge its forms with the planning inspectorate. Its scheme was recommended for refusal and eight members opposed it with one abstention.
The intentions of Your Energy, the developer of the Moorsyde scheme, are unknown. The company’s application was also recommended for approval but was defeated by an 8-1 margin.
Andrew Joicey, a member of Save our Unspoilt Landscape set up to oppose the Barmoor scheme, said last night: “It is fully expected that there would be an appeal because there is just so much money at stake for any developer.
“It is no surprise. This application has to be judged on planning grounds and, as was indicated at the meeting, it does fail to meet many planning policies, both regional and local. There will be substantial opposition to the appeal.
“I would think it is pretty likely that the others will follow suit or that there will be a joint inquiry called, calling in all the other current applications.” The council is already facing a public inquiry in September following its refusal of an application from Ridgewind for 10 turbines at Wandylaw, near Chathill.
The inquiries will leave the council and its taxpayers with bills running into hundreds of thousands of pounds in staging the hearings and hiring barristers and planning experts.
If the appeals succeed, and the appointed planning inspector rules that the council acted unreasonably in refusing, the authority could be asked to pay the developers’ costs as well.
by Brian Daniel
30 June 2008
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