County urged to protect landscape

A MORPETH councillor has urged the county authority to protect attractive landscapes from windfarms.

The issue was raised by Stobhill member Derek Thompson at a meeting of the town council as part of a question session with county councillor David Woodard.

Dozens of windfarms have been approved in Northumberland over the last five years and plans are in the pipeline for turbines at various hamlets on the edge of Morpeth.

Coun Thompson is concerned about the cumulative effect.

“We have one of the most beautiful counties in the country and the views are second to none,” he said.

“The county council must protect these sensitive areas from being blighted by wind turbines. I’ve had many people coming up to me saying they are seeing windfarms popping up all over Northumberland.

“It’s going to be a major issue to deal with in the months and years ahead.”

Coun Woodard was worried about landscapes being changed by turbines, but said it was difficult to limit their number because it could leave the authority open to legal challenges.

“The council has policies to determine each windfarm application and it has refused plans on the grounds of detrimental impact, but we can only make a decision about each one on its own merits,” he said.

Coun Andrew Tebbutt said there have been many responses by residents and parish councils to the section on windfarms in the Local Development Framework consultation.

An application has been submitted for a windfarm at Fenrother. Test masts have been approved between Molesden and the East and West Edington Farms and land at the former Tranwell Airfield.