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Developer RES withdraws Park Head wind farm scheme

Plans for a wind farm in the Northumberland countryside lay in tatters last night after the developer withdrew the scheme.

Renewable energy giant RES has withdrawn its scheme for nine turbines at Park Head, near Netherwitton, which was due to be the subject of a public inquiry starting at the end of the month.

Last night, campaigners who have fought the project said they were “thrilled” by the withdrawal but annoyed that it comes after months of work for the inquiry.

The company applied for planning permission in 2009. The scheme has been opposed by local residents and the Wingates not Wind Farms action group, alongside Newcastle Airport.

Last December, the company appealed to the planning inspectorate on the basis that Northumberland County Council had failed to decide the application inside a 16-week target.

The council insisted it had not determined the bid as it had received insufficient information from the developer.

RES requested a public inquiry and the council agreed to oppose the scheme at the hearing due to the lack of detail. The inquiry was due to begin on June 29.

In recent weeks, the county council approved Infinis (Novera)’s proposed six turbines at Wingates, close to Park Head, despite RES objecting and threatening judicial review if it was approved.

Now, it has emerged that RES asked the planning inspectorate to adjourn the inquiry, following approval of the Wingates scheme, to allow further assessments to be carried out.

The company’s bid was turned down and as a result RES has withdrawn its scheme. It has said it is considering its options for submitting a revised scheme.

In a statement, the company said: “RES felt a postponement was wholly appropriate in the circumstances and as it was refused RES felt their only effective option was to withdraw.”

Campaigner Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who lives at Netherwitton, said: “I am thrilled that the hard work of local people opposed to this development has paid off.”

Action group chairman John Thompson added: “I am pleased that they have decided to withdraw but disappointed and annoyed that they have left it so late after everybody has spent so long putting work in for the inquiry.”