Companies behind previous bids to site massive wind turbines in an area of Northumberland countryside have joined forces in a new scheme.
Renewable energy company RES and telecommunications giant BT both previously pursued plans for sites close to the hamlet of Wingates.
They have now announced that they are joining up in a single project to put turbines in the area – where another wind farm is currently being developed.
A councillor there last night said residents were being “encased”.
The joint scheme proposes five turbines be erected on a site approximately 5km south of Wingates and 2km north of Netherwitton, to the west of Rayburn Lake near Morpeth.
It follows the decision of RES not to pursue its application for nine engines on or close to the new site at Park Head, which had been due to be heard at a public inquiry after Northumberland County Council failed to determine it quickly enough.
BT was refused permission by the county council for three at Wingates Moor and opted not to appeal.
The Rayburn Wind Farm proposal has, the partners say, been designed using feedback from the public consultation on both sites.
The companies claim their turbines would be positioned further from nearest communities than was the case with the previous plans.
Daniel Leahy, RES project manager, said: “Rayburn Wind Farm is a significant milestone in our approach to renewable energy development and the first such partnership between RES and BT.
“It’s a great opportunity for two companies who share the same ethos to come together and demonstrates that we both want to take a responsible approach to renewable energy development and will work to address local concerns wherever possible.
“We are confident that, together, we can develop a well-designed wind farm that will secure a reliable source of renewable energy while taking into consideration the local environment and local communities.”
The site is close to where developer Infinis is currently in the process of erecting six 110m engines.
Last night, county councillor Steven Bridgett, whose division covers the Wingates area, said: “The residents of Wingates are already having to deal with effects of having these colossal structures built on their doorsteps as one site is currently in the construction process.
“To propose yet another one regardless of whether it is two applications merged together will effectively encase this little community.”
John Thompson, of the Wingates not Wind Farms action group, last night said local people were already fed up with blocked and damaged roads they claim are caused by the Infinis scheme.
“I am just annoyed and disappointed they have let us get to this stage of thinking we have got to put up with one wind farm, and then this comes along.”
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