November 17, 2012

Fenrother wind farm firm EnergieKontor UK fail to show at meeting

by Brian Daniel, The Journal | Nov 17 2012 |

A company seeking to put wind turbines close to a Northumberland hamlet has come under fire for failing to attend a public meeting.

EnergieKontor UK is hoping to erect five engines 126m high on farmland close to Fenrother, North of Morpeth.

A planning application has been lodged with Northumberland County Council, set to be determined next month.

A local action group fighting the scheme has sent in a 71,000-word objection document, and says about 1,000 letters of objection have been submitted. Yet the company says hundreds of letters have been submitted to the authority in support of its planning application.

A public meeting was held in Morpeth to give local people the chance to air their concerns, organised by the council. Around 200 people attended, including councillors and planning officers from the authority.

However, no one from EnergieKontor was present, despite the company knowing about the meeting.

Last night, the firm was attacked over its no-show by county councillor for the area Glen Sanderson and a leading member of the action group, Dr James Lunn.

Coun Sanderson said: “I think it was highly regrettable they were not there to answer key issues around the accuracy of their statements and the relevance of some of the submitted documents. It cast an even bigger shadow than there was before on this very difficult application. There are a lot of unanswered questions, a lot of suspicions.”

He claimed EnergieKontor’s is “an application that most people do not want anyway” arguing around 95% of local people are against it.

The councillor said he would be asking for the letters of support to be made public amid suggestions they were gathered following an exercise in Morpeth.

Dr Lunn added: “It was wonderful to see 200 people there who all spoke passionately about their concerns and the council were excellent at taking down everyone’s concerns and promising to address them all.”

He said he hoped the application would be recommended for refusal by the council.

No one was available at EnergieKontor for comment yesterday and a PR firm which has acted for the company failed to respond.

In a statement issued before the meeting, the company said it would “provide a timely reassurance for local residents about the scheme and the benefits it will deliver.”

Project manager Sam Dewar had said: “We welcome this meeting as it provides another opportunity for locals to ask important questions of the council officers and get the answers to any concerns they might have.

“If there are any planning-related questions that residents do not feel are addressed within our planning application and associated environmental statement, I am more than pleased to respond to these people with further information.”

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