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Duddo Stone Circle wind farm plans thrown out

A bid to build a large wind turbine has been thrown out after councillors backed fears it would ruin the setting of Northumberland’s answer to Stonehenge.

Scottish company 3R Energy Solutions’ proposal for a 74-metre, 800 kilowatt machine on farmland at Shoreswood, south of Berwick, was unanimously rejected by county councillors.

Members backed their officers’ view – shared in 90 letters of objection and by three parish councils – that the turbine would have a “significant and unacceptable” impact on the 4,000-year-old Duddo stone circle, less than two miles away.

Objectors welcomed the decision last night, but the developer has said it will be lodging an appeal.

The ancient site and scheduled ancient monument is made up of five large blocks of stone, created in the Neolithic period next to the hamlet of Duddo.

The reasons for its creation are shrouded in mystery.

A 19th century dig revealed the base of two additional stones, which it is believed were removed in the mid 1800s.

The circle, also known as The Women or the Singing Stones, stands on a small knoll overlooking the Tweed basin and has been described as Northumberland’s Stonehenge.

The county archaeologist said the turbine, which attracted 14 letters of support, would result in substantial harm to the setting and significance of the Duddo stones.

At the meeting of the planning and environment committee, the recommendation to refuse was supported.

Speaking afterwards, anti-wind farm campaigner Andrew Joicey, who lives at nearby New Etal, said: “It was the right decision.

“It is very disappointing that we had a fairly definitive decision on the Toft Hill turbines in a very similar location, yet local people were put through the process of having to object again to another application with similar effect.

“It was a single turbine, a so-called farm turbine, but we are talking about a massive machine.”

Last night, Jennifer Chapman, of 3R Energy Solutions, declined to comment, but said: “We will be appealing the decision.”

Meanwhile, councillors agreed to hold a site visit and public meeting before making a decision on controversial plans for a wind farm near a county hamlet.

Energiekontor UK wants to build five turbines, each 126.5 metres high, on farmland near Fenrother, north of Morpeth.

So far, 255 letters of objection have been received, along with 329 letters of support, submitted via a standard letter.

Councillors also approved a wind monitoring mast at East Woodburn.

Councillors say no to wind turbine