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County peer laments the loss of ‘sensational view’

A Northumberland peer has hit out at wind turbines, which are ‘scarring the most beautiful parts of this country’, and spoken of their effect on the ‘sensational view’ in the county.

And, during last week’s debate in the House of Lords on the Energy Bill, Viscount Ridley described the view of the Northumberland skyline from Lindisfarne as a Golgotha (the hill where Jesus was crucified).

Lord Ridley, a scientist and journalist whose family seat is at Blagdon Hall, said that he hopes that ‘we can close some of the loopholes through which developers can currently drive what is nothing less than the despoliation of many of our most beautiful parts of the countryside in the name of supposedly saving the planet’.

“In particular, I would like to seek reassurance that the Bill will not weaken, but will strengthen the guidance issued in June by the Department for Communities and Local Government to ensure that renewable energy does not automatically override environmental protection,” he said. “Reaction to that planning guidance has been disappointing.

“The wind industry boasted in July that the national policy has not been changed by recent ministerial statements.

“It seems to me that there is insufficient protection at the moment for the most treasured landscapes of this country from the blight of wind farms.

“It is, to quote a spokesman for the Council for the Protection of Rural England, ‘a bit of a free for all. The general view held by developers is to have a go—to put in an application and see what happens’.”

Viscount Ridley also referred specifically to Northumberland and the impact that has already been caused by turbines and windfarms.

“Already many of the most beautiful parts of this country have been scarred,” he said.

“In my native Northumberland, my view of Simonside is now affected by windfarms, as are the Cheviots and the Wannies. Above all, the sensational view of the Northumberland skyline from Lindisfarne has been turned into a Golgotha.”