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Wind turbine company hits out at ‘negative spin’

A Berwick-based wind turbine developer has complained that negative spin from anti-wind farm campaigners is having a big impact on his new £350,000 renewable energy centre at the Ramparts Business Park.

Simon Maden, director of Maden Eco Ltd, was speaking in the wake of Northumberland County Council’s decision not to take enforcement action after a wind turbine was built at New Haggerston without planning permission.

Although the turbine had originally received the green light from planners, this was subsequently revoked following a judicial review brought by New Etal farmer Andrew Joicey. There had been calls for the turbine to be removed until a new planning permission has been secured.

Mr Maden said: “The actions of Mr Joicey are argumentative and disruptive and are costing applicants increased application fees due to the level of information now having to be produced to submit planning applications.

“It seems at the moment that the number of farm scale turbines coming through the planning system England and Scotland has slowed down to a trickle.

“We as a company have invested £350,000 in our renewable energy centre at Berwick and have had to let two members of staff go recently one in wind planning and another as a site labourer. The tide is turning due to negative spin.”

However, he says that the power generated by wind turbines is increasing all the time, On September 14, a new wind generation record was set – 4.131GW of power supplying 10.8 per cent of the UK’s power requirement at that time.

He also revealed that the turbine at New Haggerston when operational will yield between 150-200,000kwh of electricity per year.

“This power will filter onto the local lines and the neighbouring properties will consume it,” said Mr Maden. “This will have an effect over time of less energy being drawn from the national grid. I myself live off-grid and have over the past three years generated 70 percent of my own power from solar and wind.

Maden Eco Ltd is holding an Evance R9000 open day on the morning of Saturday, October 27 at the Meadow Hill Guest House, the Berwick end of the Duns Road where it meets the Berwick bypass. Their installaton team will be there to give a demonstration of how it works.