A nine-turbine windfarm at Belford Burn would be an ‘appalling scar’ on the landscape, according to nearby residents and some tourists.
Representatives from applicant Energiekontor and Northumberland County Council’s planning department were left in no doubt as to the strength of feeling against the development at a public meeting on Monday.
Lord Walton, of Detchant, said that the Middlemoor and Wandylaw windfarms were a ‘lesson to us all’ and claimed that irrevocable damage had been caused to the landscape.
“I’m not opposed in general to applications for renewable energy in the right place, but I am opposed to this application,” he said. “The reason I’m opposed to this application is because it’s going to be another appalling scar on some of the most beautiful countryside in Northumberland, and indeed the whole of England.”
Energiekontor said that there were only six households within two kilometres of the proposed site. But Bridget Smith, who lives a mile from Belford Burn, said: “Do you know what it’s like to live with this threat looming over you?
“There’s a pit of dread in you all the time thinking what it will do to your home, your environment. You have seen the effect of Middlemoor and Wandylaw – you can see it from all around.”
Belford Golf Club owner Michael Ratliff added: “There have been 447 submissions made against this application, and only eight in favour of it.
“What weight does the council give to this in a democratic process? The weight of public opinion in this area could not be more heavily stacked against this proposal and we will not stand for it!”
Other concerns raised included the ecological impact, the proposed transport route through the village to deliver turbine components and the effect on the MoD radar systems at Brizlee Wood.
Energiekontor project manager, Michael Briggs, said that it had been identified as a good site for a windfarm because wind speed was very high and there was a relatively large set-back from nearby neighbours.
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