A call to arms has been issued as the battle to protect Northumberland’s answer to Stonehenge from wind turbine development reignites.
A government planning inspector is beginning the process of deciding whether a 74m (242ft) turbine can be erected at Shoreswood Farm, close to the ancient Duddo Stone Circle near Berwick, following the quashing of the existing planning permission.
Community group The Guardians of the Stones is now asking people to register their opposition to the proposal before an October 7 deadline.
Clare Dakin, whose family farm the land upon which the Stones are sited, said: “There is now an opportunity for people who value the setting of the Stone Circle to make their feelings known to a new planning inspector.
“We are asking everybody to write to the planning inspectorate before the seventh deadline to explain what the Stones mean to them and why they should be protected from being overshadowed by a large industrial wind turbine at Shoreswood Farm.
“This turbine would have a similar impact on the horizon near to the Stones to that which the Steps of Grace turbine north of Berwick has had on the skyline above Berwick.
“It would have a serious impact upon the experience of visitors to the Stone Circle as it would be visible on the skyline close to the stones for much of the 1km approach path, as well as being a prominent moving feature in the near landscape when looking out from the circle.”
But William Jackson, owner of Shoreswood Farm, said: “We are happy that the system carefully weighs up the interests of all those involved, including the environmental and economic benefits and visual concerns and will respect whatever the final decision of that is.
“As the single turbine would be a 2.4 km distance from Duddo Stones our view is that it will not have a significant impact on the stones.”
The proposal was unanimously refused by Northumberland County Council’s planning committee in October 2012, in line with the advice of planning officers, and amid over 90 objections.
The applicants appealed and were given approval by a planning inspector.
However, a legal challenge was mounted by Mrs Dakin’s farming company as a result of which the approval was quashed, with the business awarded costs.
The appeal is now being heard by a different inspector.
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