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Wind farm landscape fears raised by councillor

A Berwick councillor has backed calls for tighter planning controls to ensure Northumberland does not become a wind farm landscape like the neighbouring Lammermuirs in the Scottish Borders.

Coun Clive Routledge was responding to a request from Dr Geoffrey Purves, chairman of the Northumberland and Newcastle Society, to help influence the Local Development Framework being formulated by Northumberland County Council.

Dr Purves said it would be a tragedy if Northumberland came to resemble the Lammermuir Hills before the council adopted a more balanced approach than that proposed by the Core Issues document.

Coun Routledge said: “There appears to be a presumption in favour of wind farm development unless there is a strong argument against it but I feel every single application should be judged on its own merits.

“We are getting blitzed by these turbines. I can look across the border and on a sunny day all you see are these white pillars on the horizon.

“I think for the county council to implement the policy as it stands would be wrong, especially in this area.”

Berwick Town Council’s environment and regeneration committee decided to wait until it was formally consulted on the Core Issues document before making any comment.

The Northumberland and Newcastle Society is proposing an alternative approach which includes a call for fixed separation distances between houses and turbines, depending on their height.

It has called for turbines to be excluded from the most sensitive parts of the county and within certain distances from their boundaries, such as the national park and AONB.