Public event call for firm’s turbine plans

VILLAGES opposing a windfarm bid for the edge of Morpeth are calling for a public meeting about the application.

Hundreds of people have backed the campaign against the plans by Wind Ventures for four turbines up to 126metre high on a site at the former Tranwell Airfield.

The Tranwell Windfarm Action Group (TWAG) – made up of people living in Meldon, Mitford, Morpeth, Stannington and Whalton – believes that they 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. And now the Mitford, Stannington and Whalton authorities, along with county councillor for the area Eileen Armstrong, have asked the county council to hold a public meeting. Such an event took place before Energiekontor UK’s proposal for five 126.5metre-high turbines on land at Fenrother was determined.

The group has also revealed that it cost about £15,000 to get expert advice and support from solicitors to put forward its detailed objection.

Karen Carins, who chairs Stannington Parish Council and is a leading member of TWAG, said: “We think that a public meeting would be very useful, particularly because there is a new county council planning committee and some members may not have been involved in the planning process before.

“This is such a big decision for them and the event would give them the opportunity to hear both sides fully explain their case in advance of the council meeting to decide whether or not to approve the application.”

She added: “I don’t think people realise how much it costs to fight plans on this scale and it’s a shame because the money will never be refunded.”

Coun Carins spoke to Defra Secretary Owen Paterson during his recent visit to the Blagdon Estate and gave him a 95-page document, including maps and statements, to show him all the windfarm applications across the North East that are currently in the planning system.