Support pledged for battle of the turbines

Nigel Farage addresses those in attendance at Stannington Village Hall.
Nigel Farage addresses those in attendance at Stannington Village Hall.

A POLITICAL leader has backed a group of campaigners in their battle against a windfarm bid during his visit to Northumberland.

Nigel Farage visited a number of locations in the North East at the weekend to promote the UK Independence Party (UKIP) local council candidates in next month’s elections.

It included a talk and question and answer session at a packed Stannington Village Hall on Saturday evening.

Beforehand, he met members of the Tranwell Windfarm Action Group (TWAG), made up of people living in Meldon, Mitford, Morpeth, Stannington and Whalton.

They are against the proposal by Wind Ventures for four turbines in the area, up to 126m high, for a site at the former Tranwell Airfield.

Concerns include that the windfarm 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.

After the event, Mr Farage said: “The turnout in Stannington was superb and I was delighted to talk to TWAG, who are passionate about protecting their area and rightly so.

“People are really beginning to wake up to the fact that wind power is inefficient, costly and lines the pockets of people who let their land for the building of turbines, while the British taxpayer continues to see energy bills rocket while being warned about energy shortages due to this obsessive concentration on technology that does not work.

“It was fantastic to be up in the North East, an area I love very much. I will without doubt be back in the region again with the forthcoming by-election in South Shields and look forward, I hope, to find time to enjoy some fantastic fishing off the Northumberland coastline.”

The action group has also received support for its cause from Conservative MP for Hexham, Guy Opperman, and Labour MP for Wansbeck, Ian Lavery.

TWAG member Karen Carins said those in attendance were pleased that the UKIP leader had given their campaign such strong backing.

“We have now received support from a few different political parties and this has given us a lot of encouragement,” she added.