Controversial plans to put a turbine close to a world heritage site are among five wind schemes set to be given the green light in Northumberland.
The bid for a turbine close to Hadrian’s Wall goes before Northumberland County Council next week, alongside four other wind projects, all of which are being recommended for approval.
One objector to the scheme close to the Roman Wall last night voiced his disappointment that the various projects all looked set to go ahead, claiming Northumberland is “carrying the brunt” of turbine development.
The application is for a 27m turbine at Houghton North Farm at Heddon-on-the-Wall, 450m from the world heritage site, on the edge of its buffer zone and close to the wall’s national trail.
A total of 13 residents have objected as has Heddon-on-the-Wall Parish Council, although there have been 10 letters of support. Concerns have been raised not only over the impact on Hadrian’s Wall but also development of greenbelt, i mpact on neighbouring properties and on wildlife, and the scale of the turbine.
Ian Clayton, 67, of Bluebell Cottages, said: “It is obviously fairly close to the Roman Wall, we get a lot of visitors here and it is going to be clearly seen from certain areas. There is wall evident in Heddon itself, of course.”
However, members of the council’s planning and environment committee are being advised to give planning permission at their meeting next Tuesday.
Also recommended for approval at the same meeting is a bid for a turbine at Hexham racecourse, which is within the green belt.
The application was deferred at the committee’s last meeting, to allow consideration of concerns raised by the AONB partnership over impact on the landscape. It attracted 52 letters of objection.
The third scheme backed by planning officers is to allow developers of the under construction Green Rigg wind farm at Birtley to extend hours they can work at the site.
The retrospective application from Wind Prospect attracted two letters of objection, with concerns voiced that the company has carried out work at the site on bank holidays – outside of its allowed arrangements.
The fourth supported application is for a 50m monitoring mast beside the A1 at Felton.
Nine objections have been received with concerns voiced over road safety and potential for a turbine at the site, including by local county councillor Glen Sanderson.
The fifth proposal which members are being asked to support is for a 60m mast at Belford for three years.
The application, from EnergieKontor, has yielded nine letters of objection as well as opposition from Belford Parish Council.
Concerns have been raised over the need for the mast, impact on cultural heritage, the heritage coast, St Cuthbert’s and St Oswald’s Way and tourism.
Last night, Mr Clayton voiced his displeasure at the prospect of all five applications being approved.
He said: “If that is the case I would be very disappointed. I thought it was felt Northumberland was saturated enough, there was going to be a bit of a back off on these wind turbines.
“If they were not subsidised they would not be going up. I do not think many people are for them. If they were useful I think they would be fine but I am not convinced.
“I am really disappointed with that. We seem to be carrying the brunt of wind turbines.”