Councillors up in arms over site for turbines bid

Plans for two wind turbines near a Northumberland village are causing concern.

Urban Wind Ltd has put forward an application to install two Northern Power Systems (NPS) structures, 35metres to blade tip, on land south-west of Watch Hill farm in the parish of Whalton.

Although they are smaller than the Wind Ventures proposal for four turbines up to 115metres high on a site at the former Tranwell Airfield, which was turned down by the county council’s planning and environment committee in December, the choice of site has meant that residents and community representatives have objected.

Among those against the bid is Whalton Parish Council. Chairman Penny Norton said: “These turbines would have a significant adverse impact because they would be placed in a prominent position along an increasingly well-used route from Morpeth to Belsay.

“It’s not called Watch Hill for nothing and we used it for our Jubilee Beacon in 2012 so it could be seen for miles.

“This is another example of companies trying to put wind turbines in the wrong places. They would inevitably catch the eye of any person walking eastwards along the main street in Whalton and they would have a detrimental impact upon tourism in the area.”

In its design and access statement, Urban Wind says: “The NPS100 is a wind turbine capable of generating a significant amount of electricity despite its dimensions being comparable to a less productive turbine.

“There are only a very small number of natural and cultural heritage assets in proximity to the proposal site and no significant negative impacts to these are predicted.”