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Northumberland residents oppose Ditchburn wind farm plan at exhibition

Residents have shown overwhelming opposition to proposals for yet more massive wind turbines close to their homes.

An action group set up to fight a scheme for nine generators close to “England’s biggest onshore wind farm” in Northumberland carried out an exit poll at an exhibition of the plans.

More than 50 people took part and one hundred percent indicated opposition to the project.

Developer PNE Wind is working on a scheme for turbines on Ditchburn Farm, north of Eglingham, near Alnwick.

The site is alongside 28 operational 125m generators – the 18 turbine RWE Innogy Middlemoor project and 10 generators of Blue Energy at Wandylaw.

The company says the scheme would generate enough electricity to power more than 17,000 homes, would provide a community benefit fund of £5,000 per installed megawatt and that there would be contract opportunities for local businesses during construction.

Locals formed the Ditchburn Action Group to fight the proposals, with members believing their area has suffered enough from the perceived blight of turbines, and that the generators will impact on historic sites, the landscape and on property values.

The company is this week holding a three day public exhibition of its plans in the area.

At the first day at Eglingham Village Hall on Monday, over 50 people filled in an exit poll conducted by the action group.

One hundred percent of respondents indicated they were opposed to the scheme.

Group member John Waters, who lives at Eglingham, explained: “There is no doubt almost 100 percent of the whole parish, not just Eglingham, are opposed to the scheme.

“We already have 18 turbines up on Middlemoor and Wandylaw. To our knowledge that is the biggest onshore wind farm development in England.

“Now they want to put another nine less than a mile from the village. Eglingham is a conservation village.

“People will have sight of these things, they will be very close. It is moving ever closer to Eglingham.”

Day two took place at South Charlton Village Hall on Tuesday and day three on Wednesday was at Rennington Village Hall. Exit polls were to be held at both.

A number of signs bearing slogans opposing the turbine scheme have been put in gardens at both Eglingham and South Charlton.

PNE declined to comment. Ahead of the exhibition, project manager Megan Richardson said: “PNE WIND UK is pleased to be moving forward with our plans to develop Ditchburn Wind Farm.

“Since our first public exhibitions in September last year, we have progressed with our environmental and visual assessments of the site and have continued to keep members of the community updated through regular meetings with our community liaison group members.

“We are now able to present our updated plans to the community and look forward to hearing their views prior to submitting our application to Northumberland County Council. I would encourage local residents to pop into our events, meet the team and learn more about the benefits that Ditchburn Wind Farm can bring to the local area.”

A planning application is expected to be submitted over the summer.