Campaigners who oppose a planned Northumberland wind farm were last night asking questions of an MP on whose land it is proposed.
Neil Carmichael, a Conservative MP in Gloucestershire, owns land at Bavington where developer RWE npower renewables wants to site half of its eight 125m turbines.
The company last week appealed against Northumberland County Council’s failure to determine its scheme, which was lodged with planners in November 2008. A public inquiry is now likely to take place.
The action group Campaign for Responsible Energy Development in Tynedale (Credit) which is opposing the scheme, last night accused the developer of seeking to bypass local democracy.
And it questioned the stance of Mr Carmichael, MP for Stroud.
Credit member Karen Archbold said: “I would like to know if Mr Carmichael thinks it is right for them to be going down this route and bypassing the democratic process? He would not be happy if that happened in his constituency.
“Clearly when the benefits are going to accrue to him he has a different take on it. He will stand to gain a lot of money.”
Credit has also meanwhile questioned the timing of npower’s appeal.
The developer’s scheme has raised an objection from Newcastle International Airport, which is concerned at the impact of the turbines on its radar.
The site is also close to Ray Estate, where similar objections were voiced over a proposed wind farm there.
That opposition led to a final decision whereby the scheme can only go ahead if a means of mitigating the effect of the turbines on the radar is found. Credit believes the npower scheme can also not be fully approved until a radar solution has been found. Mrs Archbold said: “I can not understand why npower have chosen this moment to go ahead. I can only imagine they must think they will get a better result by bypassing the county council.”
RWE npower last week said that it had been working with planning officers but decided to appeal as it had no indication when the council would make a decision. Last night Mr Carmichael said: “Renewable energy is very important for our energy supplies. We need to be finding ways to encourage it and that is what we are doing as a Government.
“And I support measures to support renewable energy.”
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