Revised turbine bid fails to win over councillors

A BID to install a wind turbine at a Northumberland farm has again been knocked back by councillors.

Plans for a 33.5m micro turbine on land near East Farm in Wingates were rejected by Northumberland County Council’s Planning and Environment Committee in December over the impact on the landscape and visual amenity.

Applicant Jimmy Bell amended the proposal, reducing the height of the turbine to 28.5m and changing the mast to a monopole design, rather than lattice.

However, the committee has again refused permission by 13 votes to one.

Coun Trevor Thorne said: “When this application came to committee, we asked the applicant to look at three things — the reduced height, which has happened, the change from the lattice to monopole, which has happened, but more importantly, we asked him to look at the location. The planning officer has confirmed that this hasn’t been looked at at all. I think it is a major omission.”

The application had been recommended for approval by officers, but there were 13 objections submitted. Concerns were raised about the landscape, visual impact, noise, scale, cumulative impact, ecology, proximity to houses, residential amenity, highways and design.

Nunnykirk Parish Council was divided on the issue, but the majority of members objected over the potential for precedent and the proximity to Wingates.

Residents John Thompson and Colin Whatmuff spoke against the application, along with ward councillor Glen Sanderson.

But Craig Sams, of Eco EnerG Solutions, said the scheme would enhance the sustainable method of farming and reduce energy costs.