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Appeal lodged over refusal of Shoreswood wind turbine

An appeal has been lodged against a council’s refusal of plans for a 74-metre tall wind turbine near Northumberland’s answer to Stonehenge.

3R Energy Solutions has called for the planning inspectorate to overturn the decision to reject the turbine plan for Shoreswood Farm, near Ancroft, home of William Jackson.

The application was unanimously rejected by Northumberland County Council’s planning and environment committee last October because of fears about the turbine’s impact on the 4,000-year-old Duddo stone circle less than two miles away.

Mr Jackson said: “The turbine, if approved and assuming funding is available, will be developed by the landowners.”

The appeal will now be determined via written representations.

New Etal farmer Andrew Joicey, who has been a vocal critic of wind farms, has labelled it a large industrial turbine rather than a domestic or farm-scaled turbine.

He has also raised concerns about its proximity to the area where the Toft Hill wind farm was proposed, which was rejected on appeal by a planning inspector on account of the impact on the Duddo stones. For that reason he believes it should be refused.

The initial application for an 800kw turbine attracted 90 letters of objection raising concerns about its visual impact and effect on tourism, whilst also pointing out that appeal decisions for proposed wind farms at nearby Moorsyde and Toft Hill were dismissed due to the sensitivity of the setting.

The application, which would save around 900 tonnes of Co2 per year, also received 14 letters of support highlighting the importance of renewable energy, the need to support rural businesses and the fact that the proposed development would reduce fuel costs for the farm.

But council planning officers claimed the turbine would cause ‘significant and unacceptable’ impact on the Duddo stone circle and recommended its refusal.

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

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 and has been described as Northumberland’s Stonehenge. Archaeologist Roger Miket said they were ‘undoubtedly the most complete and dramatically situated in Northumberland’.