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Massive turbine bid sparks concern

Concerned residents are dismayed at yet another wind turbine application in north Northumberland.

Agent George F White has submitted a planning application to Northumberland County Council for a 77 metre-high wind turbine on land at New Bewick Farm near Eglingham on behalf of Harehope Estate.

The turbine would have a height of 50m to the hub and a maximum height of 77.9m to the tip of the blade.

The scheme is designed to “use the favourable site to reduce and offset the greenhouse gas emissions, reduce exposure of the business to increasing energy prices and move towards energy independency”, according to the plans.

John Carr-Ellison, the owner of Hedgeley Farms, contacted the Gazette to ensure that local people were aware of the plans so that they could express their opinions.

Speaking on behalf of other worried residents, he highlighted the issues of the effect on the landscape and visual amenity from all around the site as the turbine would be in a ‘natural bowl’.

He said that views from the National Park on a “well-used route used by tourists and locals” would be affected as well as from the Chillingham to Eglingham road, the Hepburn road to the east and Ros Castle and Beanley Moor to the south.

“My concern, because it hasn’t been well publicised and the planning committee meeting to deal with it will be in October or November, is that people need to have the opportunity to at least consider and, if they were so minded, to object,” he said.

A Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment carried out for the application looked at the impact on the surrounding landscape from eight different viewpoints and includes photomontages of the turbines from these views.

While it concludes that the impact will be insignificant from three viewpoints, there will be an impact to a greater or lesser extent from the other five including a major impact from the viewpoint in the direction of Old Bewick.

“However, the mature trees in the foreground together with the distance of the turbine from the viewpoint lessen its impact,” states the report.

But Mr Carr-Ellison said: “It is our view that the photomontages selected by the developer do not properly demonstrate the impact on the views as they are generally taken from low points or close to vertical foreground screening such as electricity poles or trees.”