A renewable energy company has snapped up a wind farm project next to its own scheme in Northumberland.
Infinis Energy has bought an approved turbine project which neighbours its own planned scheme north of Morpeth.
The developer plans to begin work across the two sites next month.
But a local councillor has told the developer the turbines are not wanted – saying his community will find itself “in the middle of” two schemes which will lower property prices and not create jobs.
Infinis has acquired the nine-turbine scheme on land at the former opencast mine at Maiden’s Hall and Steadsburn, from Peel Energy.
The scheme was given planning permission by Northumberland County Council in April 2014.
The project, originally proposing 13 turbines, was originally seen as the first phase of the planned £200m Blue Sky Forest project – which aimed to create 800 to 1,000 jobs by developing 2,500 acres of land restored from opencast mining.
It included an international-standard golf course and academy, a sports academy, an Olympic-size swimming pool, an artificial ski slope, 300-bed hotel and man-made lake for watersports.
The project sits next to Infinis’ four 126m-turbine Sisters Wind Farm, which was given planning permission by the county council in 2012.
That scheme, reduced from an initial five turbines, is another opencast coal mine and is close to land where tens of thousands of slaughtered animals were buried during the 2001 foot and mouth epidemic.
Infinis has said the acquisition will “maximise ongoing operational efficiencies.” Construction on both projects is scheduled to begin next month.
Eric Machiels, Infinis chief executive, said: “This deal represents a further significant investment for Infinis in Northumberland that will generate local opportunities and investment.
“The acquired wind farm is a well-designed project which benefits from an excellent wind resource.
“The construction timetable for the project fits well with our existing portfolio and will enable us to optimise the use of our resources.
“As an established operator and responsible developer of renewable projects in the area, we have a long-standing commitment to the local community and businesses.
“We intend to honour the commitments already made directly in connection with this wind farm and ensure that real economic benefits flow into the area.”
Muir Miller, Peel Energy managing director, said: “The sale of this scheme to Infinis is a significant milestone and will support Peel Energy’s development of the Frodsham and Sheerness wind farm construction projects.”
But James Grant, a member of Widdrington Village Parish Council, said: “As far as everybody up here is concerned, nobody supports the wind farms, nobody wants the wind farms. They are not creating any jobs.”
Coun Grant also claimed the turbines will lower property prices in the area.
“We are suffering again. In Widdrington village we are going to be in the middle of the Sisters site and the Peel Energy site. In all we are going to have a huge wind farm site around us.”
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