March 12, 2013
England, Ontario

Alnwick residents help battle wind farm plans in Canada

by Brian Daniel, The Journal | Mar 12 2013 |

A Northumberland community is fighting plans for massive wind turbines.

People at Alnwick are gearing up to take on a green energy company seeking to put massive engines in their midst.

But this is not the market town in the picturesque county we know and love.

It is Alnwick, Northumberland, in Canada.

Eerily, while The Journal regularly reports on communities close to our Alnwick battling proposed wind farms, a settlement of the same name, in a county of the same name, across the Atlantic is facing an identical scenario.

A website entitled Northumberland News tells how residents of Grafton and Centreton who are campaigning against a proposed turbine project have won the backing of Alnwick/Haldimand Township council.

An article on the site tells how councillors agreed to oppose the wind scheme after a presentation by the community-led group the Alliance for the Protection of Northumberland Hills.

It quotes alliance member Tyne Bonebakker telling councillors: “This project is an outrageous attack on the well-being and aesthetic beauty of Northumberland County and the Oak Ridges Moraine.”

The article tells how those behind the turbine plans will consider any impact on what the population may experience and any threats to archaeology or natural heritage.

The developer is quoted as saying: “It depends on the concern, but we are open to reasonable change.

“Right now we are reliant on a form of electricity generation that kills hundreds of Ontarians every year, that’s coal. We absolutely need to shut that down. We need to replace it with clean energy.”

Whereas engines proposed by developers on this side of the pond are 125m high or less, those proposed in Alnwick, Canada are 150m.

The alliance reportedly handed in a petition signed by 881 people against the project to the township council, while The Northumberland Federation of Agriculture is also said to be an objector. Mr Bonebakker is again quoted as telling councillors his organisation is not opposed to green energy projects.

“It’s not what’s being done, but how and where” he supposedly added.

The article was discovered online by Bruce Hewison, a member of Alnwick Town Council, who posted it on Facebook under the title “Parallel Universe”.

He said: “It is amazing how it was the name Alnwick, Alnwick is in Northumberland and it happens to be in Canada.

“So many bells are ringing. It is just almost identical to us in this area and that is why I entitled it Parallel Universe.

“It is uncanny.”

Alnwick/Haldimand was formed in 2000 by the merger of Alnwick Township in the north and Haldimand Township in the south. Its population in 2011 was 6,617.

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