Furious members of the Middleton Burn Action Group (MBAG) have hit out at the prospect of a second industrial wind development on the outskirts of Belford.
The group, which was set up last year to fight Air Farmers Ltd’s proposed 16-turbine wind farm at Middleton Burn, is now facing plans for a second development on land north of Belford Moor.
Residents were notified last week that German firm Energiekontor is proposing to site nine turbines, each up to 100m high, at Belford Burn for a period of 25 years – after which they say the turbines would be removed and the site restored.
A spokesman for Energiekontor UK Ltd said: “The Belford Burn proposal is still at an early stage of the planning and development process. The project is currently in the design phase and is likely to change as information comes forward as part of the consultation and environmental assessment phases.
“We have undertaken initial feasibility studies to determine whether turbines can be located on the site in principle, however, we are yet to carry out detailed design and assessment work to determine the precise number and layout of wind turbines on the site.”
Energiekontor say that the development would provide a community fund of £3,000 per MW of installed capacity per year, which based on the emerging proposals could mean an available fund of up to £67,500 for Belford and district per year.
But MBAG chairman Chris Craddock claimed the vast profits from the development would end up abroad, and said that the action group is regarding the Belford Burn proposal with “grave concern”.
“Our constitution allows us to oppose any wind turbine development in the Belford area and we certainly intend to fight this one,” Mr Craddock insisted.
“It threatens to dominate views in the area every bit as much as Middleton Burn does and the cumulative effect of two industrial developments totalling some 25 turbines would be nothing short of catastrophic for the village and the surrounding countryside.
“It is bound to have a devastating effect on tourism in the area, an industry which is
crucial to our economy and local employment, and will itself offer few, if any jobs to local people.
“The vast profits from these schemes, paid for by what is effectively a surcharge on electricity customers’ bills, will, of course, go abroad.”
Mr Craddock said that despite only being a couple of months old, MBAG had over 300 members and was growing fast.
He added: “If local democracy means anything their voice will be listened to and we will be able to put a stop to the imposition of these ugly, ineffective, and grotesquely expensive white elephants.”
Energiekontor UK Ltd will be holding public exhibitions at Belford First School on March 12, from 5-9pm and on March 13 from 6-9pm, to introduce the proposed development to the local community and to highlight some of the broad planning and environmental considerations associated with the development.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding