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Hexham racecourse wind turbine plan thrown out  

Credit:  By Brian Daniel | The Journal | www.journallive.co.uk 5 July 2012 ~~

Controversial plans to put a wind turbine on a Northumberland racecourse have been thrown out.

The plans for the course at Hexham were rejected by Northumberland County Council planners.

At the same meeting of the authority’s planning and environment committee, members voted against an application for a wind monitoring mast at Belford.

However, they approved plans for a turbine close to Hadrian’s Wall, for a monitoring mast beside the A1 at Felton and allowed a wind farm developer to vary the hours it can work at its site at Birtley, off the A68 in Northumberland.

All five applications had been recommended for approval.

The bid for the turbine at the racecourse, within the green belt, was thrown out having attracted 52 letters of objection. It had been deferred at the committee’s last meeting, to allow consideration of concerns raised by the AONB partnership over impact on the landscape.

Objector Louise Johnson, of Dotland Farm, Hexhamshire, whose home is 2.7km from the proposed site, attended Tuesday’s meeting at Morpeth’s County Hall.

She welcomed the council’s decision last night, saying: “I feel that the committee members have taken it, this particular turbine application, they have done their homework and they have basically turned it down for the right reasons.

“That it is in a sensitive area and hence the green belts were set up for the sole purpose of protecting certain things. I think it has validated the objections in this sense.”

But she added: “Of course, we have no doubt they will go to appeal so we will have to see how they get on from there.”

The application for a 60m mast for three years at Belford, from developer EnergieKontor, was rejected after the authority received nine letters of objection as well as opposition from the village’s parish council.

Concerns had been raised over the need for the mast, impact on the area’s cultural heritage, its heritage coast, St Cuthbert’s Way, St Oswald’s Way and tourism.

The application for the turbine at Heddon-on-the-Wall, 450m from the world heritage site, was approved, despite 13 residents objecting along with the village’s parish council.

The development will see a 27m turbine at Houghton North Farm, on the edge of the wall’s buffer zone and close to its national trail.

Concerns had been raised not only over the impact on the wall but also development in the green belt, impact on neighbouring properties and on wildlife, and the scale of the turbine.

Developers of the under construction Green Rigg wind-farm were meanwhile allowed to extend hours they can work at the site.

The 50m monitoring mast beside the A1 at Felton was also approved.

Source:  By Brian Daniel | The Journal | www.journallive.co.uk 5 July 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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