Plans to build two wind turbines close to where Scotland suffered its worst military disaster have finally been rejected.
A farmer lodged an appeal against Northumberland County Council’s decision to refuse his application for the development close to the ancient battlefield at Flodden where the Scots lost around 10,000 men in 1513 as well as King James 1V.
But to the delight of nearby residents and heritage campaigners, this has been thrown out following government ministerial intervention.
Secretary of State for communities and local government Eric Pickles called in the appeal which gave him the final decision and he sided with the planning inspector by refusing.
Robin Lathangie had sought planning permission for 112ft high turbines on his East Moneylaws Farm at Cornhill-on-Tweed last year – the 500th anniversary of the famous battle.
The proposed site was on a hillside about a kilometre from Flodden Field near the village of Branxton. His application generated 60 letters of objection, including one from the Remembering Flodden Project, which manages the battlefield trail on the site.
Opponents claimed the turbines would spoil the setting of one of the country’s most important historical sites.
Northumberland County Council’s planning and environment committee voted unanimously to refuse.
Mr Lathangie lodged a challenge but it has now emerged that Mr Pickles decided in April to recover the appeal in order to make the final decision.
The secretary of state has now agreed with the recommendation of the planning inspector who conducted the appeal in deciding that permission should be refused.
Clive Hallam-Baker, chairman of the Remembering Flodden Project, who lives at Branxton near Cornhill, welcomed the decision.
He said: “The field was so dependent on the topography and then to go sticking these whirly things right on the hillside right in the line of sight would very much have detracted from the calmness, the unspoilt effect of the battlefield.
“The borders where we live, there is history oozing out of the ground. It is now so much more relevant with the potential of England and Scotland splitting up. Perhaps our history and heritage up here is beginning to come to the fore a little bit.”
Mr Lathangie’s agent, Simon Maden, declined to comment on the minister’s decision.
Flodden Field is one of the best preserved battlefields in northern Europe. Two years ago an application for a free range chicken farm near the field was thrown out.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding