Families fighting plans for a wind farm say they are cranking up their campaign after seeing information about the visual impact of the massive turbines.
More than 220 people have signed up to the campaign against proposals to build five turbines – each towering 126 metres high – near the hamlet of Fenrother, north of Morpeth.
Now the fight is being stepped up after the submission of information suggesting the machines will be visible from miles away, and will impact on the views of thousands of people.
Maps submitted by green energy company EnergieKontor show they will be seen from as far away as Tynemouth and South Shields, Rothbury and parts of the upper Coquet Valley and from large parts of the Cheviot Hills to the north.
GP Dr James Lunn, who lives in 14-home Fenrother with his wife Emma and baby daughter Imogen, said the wind farm would be “nothing more than vandalism.”
He said the new information was contained in maps submitted as part of visual impact predictions to the county council.
“To think these turbines would be visible from South Shields is phenomenal and shows what the wider picture is in all this. If these wind farms continue to be built, soon there won’t be anywhere in the North East you can turn and not see a wind turbine.
“This has really energised us to say we must fight this proposal right to the end. The fact is, these five turbines will affect far more people than just the local residents, and people have to realise that.
“It is not just our views on the doorstep that will be ruined, but those of many thousands of people who live in Northumberland. It will just be devastating.”
Dr Lunn said there are concerns large and heavy loads visiting the site during the construction period could come in via a new access near a known accident blackspot on A697 road.
EnergieKontor project manager, Sam Dewar, said the visual impact maps were only intended to be indicative. We will be doing a detailed landscape assessment as part of our overall environmental impact assessment, and working closely with Northumberland County Council, which has a lot of experience of wind farms.
“The maps just look at the wider radius of the site and don’t take into account visual obstructions such as topography, buildings and trees, which will affect people’s views of the turbines.”
Mr Dewar said accessing the site from the A697 was not the company’s preferred option.
EnergieKontor says the wind farm could provide enough electricity for 7,600 households, and is in an area earmarked as suitable for wind energy.