A CONTROVERSIAL windfarm application has been changed – but hundreds of residents in nearby villages are still strongly against the bid.
The Tranwell Windfarm Action Group (TWAG) was set up to oppose Wind Ventures’s plans for four turbines up to 126metres high on a site at the former Tranwell Airfield.
There have also been some letters in support and the proposal was due to be determined in the next couple of months by Northumberland County Council.
However, the company has made a new submission in response to the comments from interested parties. It still involves four turbines, but their height has been reduced to 115metres.
In a leaflet that has gone out to households near the site, Wind Ventures says: “Our further assessments show that lower-height turbines will further reduce the possibility of shadow flicker occurring if they were to be operated without a shadow-flicker prevention mechanism.
“However, to further protect residents, the turbines will be fitted with a control system programmed to stop the appropriate turbine during times of potential shadow flicker, ensuring the blades do not turn.
“Further assessment shows that the 115metre-high turbines have a reduced landscape and visual impact.
“It also demonstrates that noise levels will not change with the reduced turbine heights, but they will remain well within the guidance level for windfarms.
“In the event of planning permission being granted, we fully expect and would accept that the county council would impose a planning condition which controls noise levels.”
The leaflet has a section called Benefits which includes a statement that if the turbines are approved, the firm will offer a Community Benefit Fund of at least £16,400 per year for the 30 years the windfarm is operational.
TWAG is made up of people living in Meldon, Mitford, Morpeth, Stannington and Whalton. Members believe the turbines would negatively dominate the landscape, be installed within a proposed extension to the green belt, produce unacceptable noise and have an adverse impact on tourism, among other concerns.
Karen Carins, who chairs Stannington Parish Council and is a leading member of TWAG, said: “As far as we’re concerned, the height change makes no difference at all to our previously-submitted objections, although we will be making a fresh submission to the county council to reinforce our points.
“We’re checking out Wind Ventures’ claims about shadow flicker and noise and this will be at an extra cost of about £5,000, which will require further fund-raising.”
If a public meeting about the application is approved for later this summer, the parish councils will work with the county council to send a flyer through people’s doors.
Anyone with questions or comments about the new proposal can call Andrew Lester on 0845 4606011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org