A leading Northumberland Tory at the centre of a row over a wind farm bid on his land has admitted he was wrong to deny knowledge of the proposal.
But Peter Jackson, leader of the Conservative opposition group on Northumberland County Council, has denied being the applicant for the scheme.
The Journal reported last week how plans had emerged to put a single 77.9m (255ft) turbine on land south west of East Coldcoats Farm at Ponteland, owned by Coun Jackson and his wife Val, who live at Edge House, Belsay.
The application was from Green Energy Ponteland Ltd and was submitted on its behalf by land agent George F White.
Coun Jackson, a former leader of Castle Morpeth Borough Council, last week told The Journal he had no knowledge of the application until it was lodged with the authority and denied being actively involved in the proposal, saying the applicants are “not connected to me at all”.
He refused to say whether he was for or against the scheme, and whether he would allow the turbine to be built on his land if it is given the go-ahead.
Angry neighbours called on Coun Jackson to make clear his views on the application, and said he was “asking people to stretch their imagination a little” in denying any involvement.
Now Coun Jackson has admitted to The Journal he had been wrong to say he had known nothing of the application until it was submitted.
He said: “It is true that I was contacted by George F White about the possibility of a planning application, ahead of it being submitted.
“However, I was not aware of the details or timescale of the planning procedures, which is what I meant to express previously, albeit imperfectly. I accept that I might have been clearer on this point.”
Objector Gerald Vineberg lives with wife and three children at East Coldcoats, 470m (0.3 miles) from the proposed turbine.
He said: “Due to the way the application has been handled it puts the integrity of the planning process into doubt. The health and wellbeing of my family rests on the decision of an impartial planning committee. I just hope that is what I get.”
Objections to the turbine have come in from 39 residents, Ponteland Parish Council and Ponteland Civic Society, based on the site being within green belt land and proximity of the engine to homes.
Northumbria Police has also objected relating to impact on telecommunications and separation distances from its Ponteland headquarters.
The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England is also opposed while the Northumberland and Newcastle Society has voiced concerns.
Retired David Elliott, 68, whose Smallburn home would be 700m (0.4 miles) from the turbine, has also objected.
He said: “Peter is not being very forthcoming to anyone that knows him. To say it is nothing to do with him or imply that is asking people to stretch their imagination a little.”
Fellow objector Jill McIntyre, a 55-year-old HR consultant, whose home at East Coldcoats is less than 500m (0.3miles) from the turbine, added: “We do not have any problem with Mr Jackson personally but it is disappointing to be faced with this problem.”
The application had been due to be determined by the council’s planning and environment committee last week.
Members were being recommended to approve, but the application was deferred until a later date for what the council called “procedural issues.”
I was not aware of the details or timescale of the planning procedures
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