A wind turbine which was controversially built at New Haggerston despite permission for it being quashed by the High Court has now been approved by councillors for a second time.
Planning permission for the 34.2m tall turbine was first secured by farmer Sinclair Robson in February but that decision was thrown out following a judicial review brought about by Andrew Joicey from New Etal.
Mr Robson was told the application would have to be redetermined by Northumberland County Council but he decided to press ahead and build the turbine anyway, although it has not been operational.
Despite calls for enforcement action to be taken, the council’s planning department said such a step would be inappropriate until the planning application had been determined.
And at the north area planning committee on Thursday, members went along with the recommendation of officers to give the scheme the green light. The committee heard that Mr Robson had not received any paperwork not to erect the turbine.
The sole objection came from Coun Isabel Hunter, member for Berwick West with Ord, who felt that the visual impact of the turbine had not been taken sufficiently into account.
“I was particularly disappointed with the photomontages shown to the committee which I felt didn’t show the true impact of the turbine when approaching it from the north,” she said. “I was also surprised to see the Conservative members voting in favour of the application given their recent motion to stop any more wind turbines being given permission.”
Senior planning officer Tony Lowe had advised that whilst the turbine does have a visual impact on the local area, it is considered that given the openness of the landscape this single wind turbine could be accommodated without having a significant adverse impact.
Supporters say the 50kW turbine would address the energy requirements of New Haggerston Farm, reduce its carbon footprint and export power to the National Grid. It has an estimated output of 158,951kWh of electricity per annum, which would equate to an annual saving of approximately 40 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Meanwhile, plans for a 47.1m tall wind turbine for farmer John Barber at Brackenside Farm, near Ford, were also passed. It had also been a decision initially approved but then quashed following a judicial review.
The application had split opinion with 43 letters of objection citing concerns about the visual impact and adverse effect on local business, especially given its proximity to the six-turbine Barmoor wind farm just 1km away, while 28 letters of support outlined its environmental benefits.
Coun Hunter and Coun Dougie Watkin voted against the application but the rest of the committee went with officer recommendation to give the scheme the all clear.
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