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Park objects to turbine plan  

Credit:  The Berwick Advertiser, www.berwick-advertiser.co.uk 29 August 2011 ~~

Planners at Northumberland National Park Authority have lodged a formal objection to plans for a wind turbine between Chillingham and Eglingham.

Harehope Estates has submitted a planning application for the 77-metre (255ft) tall turbine in a field west of New Bewick Farm, near Wooperton.

However, members of the National Park’s development management committee considered there could potentially be significant impacts on views from the National Park and on its landscape character.

Rachel Pearson, committee chairman, said: “The authority strongly supports small scale renewable energy initiatives and has been recognised as a national exemplar.

“In the case of this proposal the committee objected to the application as it considered that the potential visual impact on the sense of openness and tranquillity of the National Park would be significant.”

Harehope Estates, which offers holiday accommodation within the Victorian mansion and nearby cottages, say the turbine would produce approximately 1,633,000 kWh per annum of output to meet its energy requirements.

Objections have been made by Hedgeley Hall resident John Carr-Ellison who points out the turbine would be nearly four times higher than the Angel of the North.

In a report to members last Wednesday, park planning officer Jessica Taylor said: “The proposed location of the wind turbine is situated in a valley between Northumberland sandstone hills to the east and the Cheviots to the west. Views of the proposed wind turbine from receptors at low lying areas are predominantly partially screened by topography, built form and vegetation.

“However from receptors at higher ground, including receptors from the National Park, views of the wind turbine may be gained. These have not been assessed in the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment submitted as part of the application. In line with SNH guidance and as a result of the findings on site, there will be potentially significant impacts on views from the National Park and the National Park landscape character. These impacts have not been fully assessed within the document submitted to support the application.

“Members are recommended to object to the proposed development because the applicant has failed to demonstrate that the proposed development would not have an unacceptable impact on the quality and character of the National Park landscape and tranquillity of the National Park.”

Specifically, national park planners were concerned about the ‘significant’ impact of the proposed turbine on views from Reaveley Hill and Heddon Hill.

Ms Taylor said: “The development would result in the introduction of non natural features which would be visible from within 5km of the proposed wind turbine, which includes views from public rights of way on Reaveley Hill and Heddon Hill which are popular routes for visitors to the National Park.”

The final decision on the application is expected to be made by Northumberland County Council next month.

Source:  The Berwick Advertiser, www.berwick-advertiser.co.uk 29 August 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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