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Developer appeals failed Northumberland turbine plan

A failed bid to build a large wind turbine close to Northumberland’s answer to Stonehenge has been resurrected.

Plans for a 74m (243ft) machine on land less than two miles from the 4,000-year-old Duddo stone circle were rejected by councillors last year, amid concerns over its impact on the site.

Now, however, the developer has appealed that decision.

Scottish company 3R Energy Solutions applied to Northumberland County Council for planning permission for an 800 kilowatt machine at Shoreswood Farm, Ancroft – south of Berwick, and home of William Jackson.

However, 90 letters of objection were received, while three parish councils and the county archaeologist also opposed the development.

The official echoed the concerns of fellow objectors, claiming the turbine would cause substantial harm to the setting and significance of the stones.

The ancient site and scheduled ancient monument is made up of five large blocks of stone – created in the Neolithic period – next to the hamlet of Duddo.

The reasons for its creation are shrouded in mystery. A 19th-century dig revealed the base of two additional stones, which it is believed were removed in the mid-1800s.

The circle – also known as The Women or the Singing Stones – stands on a small knoll overlooking the Tweed basin and has been described as Northumberland’s Stonehenge. A council planning officer recommended that the application be re fused, despite 14 letters of support being received.

Members of the planning and environment committee unanimously rejected the bid in October.

The company said afterwards it would be contesting the decision.

Now, the developer has lodged its appeal with the planning inspectorate, with the challenge to be determined via written representations.

Cornhill farmer Andrew Joicey, who objected to the application, said last night: “It is an application for a single very large turbine, certainly not a domestic or farm-scaled turbine, it is a very large industrial turbine.

“It is very close to the area where Toft Hill wind farm was proposed, which was rejected on appeal by a planning inspector on account of the impact on the Duddo Standing Stones.

“This single turbine at Shoreswood would have a similar impact on the setting of the Duddo stones and for that reason it should quite clearly be refused.”