Battle lines are being drawn in a small Northumberland village over plans for a wind farm.
As previously reported by The Journal, energy firm EnergieKontor UK Ltd has submitted full plans to Northumberland County Council to build five turbines 126m high at Fenrother, near Morpeth.
But now local people who are fighting the scheme have vowed to take legal action if the bid is approved in its current form.
EnergieKontor has claimed the council’s regional spatial strategy identifies the Fenrother site as being suitable for medium-sized wind energy development.
It says the wider area has already been identified for small to medium scale wind farm development “within a ‘broad area of search’ of the region”, and that in addition it “is largely within an identified Wind Area of Search”.
The firm claims its development will generate enough renewable energy to power more than 7,900 households per year.
It has cited benefits through its scheme in terms of jobs through use of contractors from the area, use of locally sourced materials during construction and a £45,000 per year community fund.
EnergieKontor also claims its turbines will be sited more than 800m away from the nearest household – which it claims will be “better than the majority of other wind farms currently under construction or operational around the country”.
Project manager Sam Dewar said: “We have presented a very persuasive argument for wind farm development in our planning application and I’m confident the council will see the advantages on offer and give their backing for the project.
“Fenrother, which falls within the regional and local allocation in terms of planning, has been identified as an ideal location for a wind farm due to many contributory factors.
“Power produced by the site will not only be limitless but also clean and environmentally friendly.” Yet Dr James Lunn, who is leading residents’ fight against the plans, last night hit out at the developer saying its application had failed to address road safety and health concerns, that it has erred on distances of turbines to properties and that it does not provide enough information on what is proposed.
Dr Lunn revealed his opposition group has had legal advice and would be seeking a judicial review if the council approves the application in its present form.
He said the group has already been pledged financial backing by “wealthy donors” should that course of action be needed.
Dr Lunn said opponents have already commissioned experts to produce their own photomontages of how the turbines would appear, and to look at the road safety issue.