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Second wind farm appeal is lodged

A second appeal has been lodged following the refusal of three wind farm applications near a Northumberland town.

Separate bids for turbines at Barmoor, Moorsyde and Toft Hill, all near Berwick, were refused by local planners at a joint hearing in March.

The Journal reported last week how the applicants for the Barmoor scheme had appealed and that a public inquiry will take place before a Government planning inspector.

Last night it emerged that Your Energy, the company seeking to erect seven turbines at Moorsyde, has also appealed. Moorsyde Action Group, which was set up to oppose the application, last night vowed to continue to fight the scheme.

A spokesman said: “We are surprised that Your Energy are continuing with their existing application rather than addressing the serious defects which led to its decisive rejection by local councillors.

“The costs of this scheme to local communities and our tourist industry have hardly reduced.

“We are confident that the decision of our local councillors to reject the Moorsyde scheme on sound planning grounds will be vindicated when the scheme’s inadequacies are examined at a public inquiry.”

The Moorsyde application was refused by Berwick Borough Council’s planning committee by eight votes to one with councillors taking the view its impact on the surrounding landscape could not be mitigated.

At the same meeting, Catamount Energy’s six turbine Barmoor project was also refused, by the same margin, as was npower renewables’ seven turbine Toft Hill proposal, with eight voting against and one abstention.

The two appealed projects had both been recommended for approval with the Toft Hill scheme listed for refusal.

After the hearing, Catamount stated it would be appealing and npower said it was considering its options, with Your Energy declining to comment.

It has been widely anticipated all three will be challenged and The Journal was told last week that an appeal on the Toft Hill scheme is to come.

The appeals could mean Berwick taxpayers having to pick up bills running into hundreds of thousands of pounds in staging one or more inquiries and hiring barristers and planning experts to make the council’s case.

And if the authority loses and the planning inspector rules it acted unreasonably in refusing in the first place, it could also be asked to pay some or all of the developers’ costs.

Berwick Council is already facing a public inquiry in September following its refusal of Ridgewind’s application for 10 turbines at Wandylaw, near Chathill.

Your Energy declined to comment yesterday other than to confirm that it has lodged an appeal.

The Journal

10 July 2008