Turbine plans are halted by landowner

A landowner has called a halt to turbine plans, but has warned that farmers are being inundated with offers from energy firms.

Peter Hogg, who is one of the owners of Causey Park Farms, says he has blocked a bid by 3R Energy Solutions to erect two 74m high wind turbines on part of his land near Eshottheugh.

The company had submitted a ‘screening opinion’ request to Northumberland County Council.

But after talking to members of Eshott Airfield, Mr Hogg has asked for the application to be withdrawn.

“The new proposal for turbines has all been stopped,” he said.

“At the weekend we spoke to the microlight club and they warned that the turbines would be too close and would be a danger to the microlights. On Tuesday morning, as soon as the offices opened, we spoke to the company that was proposing the wind turbines and put a stop to them.”

Mr Hogg also owns land near Fenrother where Energiekontor UK is proposing to erect a five-turbine windfarm.

The application generated massive objection and is currently awaiting a decision from Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

Mr Hogg says that originally the windfarm was to be contained on neighbouring land, with his company just agreeing planning rights with the energy firm to stop development that could jeopardise its bid.

But when the plans were amended in 2011 to reduce the turbine number from six to five, one was positioned on his site.

He said he has since been accused of using windfarms as a ‘get rich quick’ scheme, but has already turned down requests from three energy companies to use his land.

“People need to be aware that landowners are being approached by energy firms the whole time,” he said.

“They want to put up turbines, have solar panels, set up a chip system and all kinds of things. This is the third windfarm that I have been approached for and I have turned them all down.

“I have turned them down for various reasons. Either they were too close to the microlights or too close to neighbouring properties and I don’t want to blight the area.

“One of the Fenrother turbines would be on our land and I’m fairly philosophical about it in that I know oil and coal is not going to last forever. The fact that I might end up with a turbine almost by default is fine.”

Mr Hogg is a member of Tritlington and West Chevington Parish Council.

Chairman of the Fight Fenrother and Longhorsley Windfarm Group Dr James Lunn said: “The landowners who have proposed the Fenrother windfarm, the most opposed planning application in recent county history, are amazingly continuing to go against local opinion and have entered discussions for more wind turbines on their land.

“It beggars belief that a parish councillor, who supposedly represents residents, of which over 90 per cent opposed the other windfarm on his land, is allowed to continue on a parish council given his continued attack on the openness of the countryside loved by locals.”

Mr Hogg said: “I don’t know how many people are against windfarms and how many are in favour, but I do know quite a few people in favour.

“The other members of the parish council are against them so it seems only fair that there is at least one person representing the people who are in favour.”