June 22, 2012

Wind turbine objectors call for planning reform

The Berwick Advertiser | www.berwick-advertiser.co.uk 22 June 2012

Wind farm objectors are calling for Northumberland County Council to protect the region’s landscape after steps have been taken to do so in other parts of the country.

County councillors in Lincolnshire took a bold stand against wind farms last week when they agreed a new, stricter policy on turbines given the “proliferation” of wind farms in that area in recent years.

The move against wind farms has been criticised in some quarters as an abandonment of the Government’s pledge to be the “greenest ever”. But Lincolnshire’s ‘enough is enough’ policy is proving popular with a number of residents in north Northumberland, who are urging the county council to take similar steps here, before the landscape is “destroyed”.

With an abundance of new wind developments gaining planning approval in recent years, Northumberland is set to become the wind farm capital of England – an accolade that individual objectors and action groups, keen to preserve the landscape and protect tourism, are strongly trying to avoid.

In Lincolnshire, the new, stronger position means that stricter conditions now have to be met before any more wind farms can be put up.

The policy states that no turbines should be built within 2km of someone’s home, or 10km of a village of more than 10 properties.

Georgina Leyland of the Middleton Burn Action Group, which opposes any wind farm development in and around Belford, has called on Northumberland County Council to “listen to the people they are elected to protect, and protect the county they are supposed to represent.”

Pointing to the new position in Lincolnshire, Ms Leyland said: “I think many people in the area who are fighting to keep Northumberland from being destroyed, would be encouraged to read what is happening in other parts of the UK where industrial wind sites are also being proposed – and strongly opposed.”

The developments in Lincolnshire come hot on the heels of the High Court decision to overturn planning permission, given by Northumberland County Council, for three individual turbines in the area, after legal proceedings were brought by Cornhill farmer Andrew Joicey.

Planning consent for wind turbines at Wark Common Farm, Cornhill, Brackenside Farm, Ford, and New Haggerston Farm, Berwick, which were originally approved in February by Northumberland County Coun-cil’s north area planning committee, were revoked by a High Court judge on June 6.

Wind farm objectors are hoping that the court ruling, coupled with developments elsewhere in the country, could act as a wake-up call to Northumberland County Council, and force them to review their planning procedures in regard to turbines.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/06/22/wind-turbine-objectors-call-for-planning-reform/