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Bardon Mill: Windfarm plan runs into storm of protest

Residents have vowed to fight plans for three wind turbines near Bardon Mill amid concerns rural homes could face a “constant pounding.”

And they have hit out at developer Quiet Revolution for not turning up at a public meeting last Friday – after the company claimed it was unaware the event was taking place.

Concerned villagers packed into Henshaw First School, where no-one voted in favour of proposals to build the turbines on agricultural land south-west of Willimoteswick.

They expressed fears that construction of the 32-metre high structures would lead to ongoing disruption, with heavy vehicles transporting tonnes of materials through the hamlet of Beltingham.

The meeting was jointly hosted by Bardon Mill and Henshaw parish councils, and was intended as a platform for discussion between councillors, residents, and representatives from Quiet Revolution.

Chairing the meeting, Coun. Stuart Furlong, said: “Quiet Revolution has declined to turn up, which is not very helpful.

“It was asked to come but has politely declined; it’s an absolute shambles.

“It said it would be attending the meeting, but this week said it knew nothing about it until it was contacted by the Courant just a couple of days beforehand.”

Coun. Furlong added: “There will be a lot of material to come in via what is basically a light-weight road. Unless they use a helicopter there will be no other way of doing it.

“This is a commercial enterprise and my concern is if it gets the go-ahead, it could set a precedent for wind turbine applications in areas such as this.

“Nobody is against green energy, but this is a commercial enterprise in a rural area where the logistics are awkward.”

Resident Lorna Slater said: “The houses at Beltingham are close to the road and they would get a constant pounding from heavy vehicles.

“I have nothing against the wind turbines themselves, it is the access issues and the damage that could be caused while they are being constructed.

“There will be 300 tonnes of material going up there and I am told you can only get 40 tonnes on to a wagon.”

Another resident, William Green, said: “The Angel of the North is 20 metres tall and these are going to be considerably higher.

“They will be taller than a 10-storey building. This is an area of high landscape value and significance that this is going to encroach on.”

One resident expressed concerns about possible historical artefacts at the site, while another said: “Hadrian’s Wall is prominent in this area. It is a World Heritage Site and you will be able to see the turbines from parts of it.”

Coun. Alan Sharp, the Northumberland County Council representative for Hadrian, warned residents that Quiet Revolution’s no-show at the meeting would not weaken the planning application.

He added: “I am disappointed that its representatives are not here tonight as they promised they would be. It is crucial that any letters of objection go in as soon as possible.”

Residents have until March 22 to put forward their views on the scheme to Northumberland County Council’s planning department.