Plans for two more wind turbines at Felkington Farm have been dismissed at appeal because of their perceived impact on the Duddo Stones.
The application for a pair of 34.5m tall masts just over one mile from the historic stones was initially rejected by Northumberland County Council last March.
An appeal was subsequently lodged by Lee Houghton of Fine Energy, the speculative developers behind the scheme.
But Richard McCoy, an Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, echoed the concerns of the council’s north area planning committee.
He considered the proposal ‘would be a very detrimental intrusion’ into the relationship between the 4,000-year-old Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM) and the surrounding landscape.
He added: “The proposal would cause harm to the significance of a heritage asset of considerable importance (Duddo Stones) by introducing an incongruous development within its setting.
“The proposal would not be visible in the long walk towards the SAM from the south but would be prominently in view upon reaching the SAM. The proposed turbines, although of a modest scale would nevertheless be a stand out feature when seen from the SAM. Those visiting the stones and contemplating their significance would be distracted by seeing the upper portions of the turbines, in particular their rotating blades.
“Whilst it is appreciated that there are a number of electricity poles in the vicinity and an existing turbine at Felkington Farm, these are not as tall as the proposed turbines.
“I consider that the environmental benefits accruing from a reduction in the emission of greenhouse gasses and the commitment to remove the turbine after 20 years following any grant of planning permission would not outweigh the less than substantial harm arising from the proposal.”
He also acknowledged concerns about cumulative impact should a 74m turbine at Shoreswood Farm be approved.
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