March 30, 2012

Call for wind turbine applications to be suspended

The Berwick Advertiser, 30 March 2012

Conservative councillors are proposing that Northumberland County Council suspends future applications for wind turbines.

A motion to be put to council next week calls for a county-wide consultation on applications for wind turbines and met masts until new guidelines are agreed on how many there should be and where they should go.

The motion, which will be put before full council next Wednesday, calls for a consultation with residents ahead of a county-wide strategy being put in place.

Glen Sanderson, county councillor for Chevington with Longhorsley, said: “The aim is to halt the deluge of wind turbine applications seen in rural Northumberland.

“It will give the council an opportunity to come up with a clear plan of how many wind turbines there should be and where they should go.

“It is crucial that this plan gains the consent of local people, which is why there should be a full public consultation to allow residents to make their feelings clear. These running skirmishes about individual applications are causing immense concern and satisfying no one.”

Proposals for nine 100m tall turbines at Belford Burn, just a mile from a proposed 16 turbine development, each 125m tall, at Middleton Burn, has raised concerns about potential cumulative impact.

Flora Simpson, Conservative Spokesman for Berwick West with Ord, said: “A pause on new applications for wind turbines will help to protect the rural area around Berwick from the haphazard imposition of innumerable wind turbines.

“The council should put in place a strategy to manage the pressure to expand this expensive, highly visible industry.

“We need a full public consultation to make sure that the voices of rural residents are not ignored.”

The motion states that Northumberland is contributing more than its fair share towards the Government’s renewables target and that a thorough policy review is required.

Planning permission has already been granted for three wind farm developments totalling 34 turbines at Barmoor, Middlemoor and Wandylaw.

URL to article: